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C06 - Prominence in subordinating rhetorical relations

What is subordination in discourse? First and foremost, it is a way to reduce the prominence of certain text spans, sentences or clauses, so they do not distract from the more central parts of the text. Subordinate material is intended to only make a local contribution to discourse. It holds the status of discourse topic for a limited time and always implies a possibility to return to the main topic of the discourse.

The project develops a formal discourse-semantic model that focusses on describing the aspects of discourse prominence related to the hierarchical structure of discourse created by subordination. Our concept of discourse structure is based on the notion of rhetorical relations – the functions of utterances in discourse in relation to one another, such as Elaboration, Explanation, Narration, Contrast, Parallel, etc. Our specific goal is to explain why certain rhetorical relations, such as Elaboration and Explanation, tend to establish subordination and lead to the relative reduction of the prominence of subordinate material, while others, e.g. Contrast and Narration, usually function as coordinating relations.

See list of publications



PD Dr. Katja Jasinskaja

Principal Investigator C06

Office: SFB, Luxemburger Str. 299, room 4.08
E-mail: katja.jasinskaja(at)
Phone: (+49) 221 470-89922
Web: PD Dr. Katja Jasinskaja


Yuting Li

Student assistant C06

Office: SFB, Luxemburger Str. 299, room 4.08
E-mail: yli31(at)
Phone: (+49) 221 470-89921


To appear

  • Jasinskaja, Katja & Elena Karagjosova. To appear. Rhetorical relations. In Daniel Gutzmann, Lisa Matthewson, Cécile Meier, Hotze Rullmann & Thomas Ede Zimmermann (eds.), Companion to Semantics. Oxford: Wiley. preprint: pdf
  • Jasinskaja, Katja & Radek Šimík. To appear. Slavonic free word order. In Jan Fellerer & Neil Bermel (eds.) Oxford Guide to the Slavonic Languages. Oxford University Press. preprint: pdf


  • Jasinskaja, Katja & Claudia Poschmann. 2021. Projection to the speaker: Non-restrictive relatives meet coherence relations. In Anke Holler, Katja Suckow & Israel de la Fuente (eds.), Information structuring in discourse, 141–162. Leiden: Brill. preprint: pdf


  • Rothkegel, Carina. 2019. Empirische Studien zur perspektivischen Interpretation indexikalischer Ausdrücke in indirekter Redewiedergabe. Master thesis. University of Cologne. pdf



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