What is Salience?

Vincent Boswijk*, Matt Coler

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

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Abstract

A commonly used concept in linguistics is salience. Oftentimes it is used without definition, and the meaning of the concept is repeatedly assumed to be self-explanatory. The definitions that are provided may vary greatly from one operationalization of salience to the next. In order to find out whether it is possible to postulate an overarching working definition of linguistic salience that subsumes usage across linguistic subdomains, we review these different operationalizations of linguistic salience. This article focuses on salience in sociolinguistics, cognitive linguistics, second-language acquisition (SLA), and semantics. In this article, we give an overview of how these fields operationalize salience. Finally, we discuss correlations and contradictions between the different operationalizations.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)713-722
Number of pages10
JournalOpen Linguistics
Volume6
Issue number1
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - Jan-2020

Keywords

  • frequency
  • language processing
  • linguistic salience
  • LANGUAGE
  • MARKEDNESS
  • ACQUISITION
  • CONTACT

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