a1 University of Nijmegen, Department of Philosophy, P.O. Box 9108, 6500 HD Nijmegen, The Netherlands. E-mail: email@example.com
In this paper we present an alternative approach to discourse structure according to which topicality is the general organizing principle in discourse. This approach accounts for the fact that the segmentation structure of discourse is in correspondence with the hierarchy of topics defined for the discourse units. Fundamental to the proposed analysis is the relation it assumes between the notion of topic and that of explicit and implicit questioning in discourse. This relation implies that (1) the topic associated with a discourse unit is provided by the explicit or implicit question it answers and (2) the relation between discourse units is determined by the relation between these topic-providing questions.
(Received February 27 1992)
(Revised September 22 1994)
Department of Philosophy, University of Nijmegen