Definition of topicalize in English:

Share this entry


Pronunciation: /ˈtɒpɪk(ə)lʌɪz/
(also topicalise)


[with object] Linguistics
Cause (a subject, word, or phrase) to be the topic of a sentence or discourse, typically by placing it first.
Example sentences
  • This is because the argument must first be topicalized before it can be dropped from the topic position, as can best be seen by the V2 requirement in German and Scandinavian languages.
  • There would be little reason to doubt that there designates a specific location; the sentence could be analysed as a ‘topicalized’ version of The vase is THÉRE, on the table!
  • Resultative predicates may be topicalized, modified, or given as an answer but particles may not be.



Example sentences
  • Discussion of topicalization and topic change should be as important in analysis of formal writing as the assignation of meaning to verb forms.
  • But when the sentences undergo topicalization, the original M-contrast in reference vanishes.
  • The interactional consequences of such topicalizations are much like those of topicalizing emotion.

For editors and proofreaders

Line breaks: top¦ic¦al|ize

Share this entry

What do you find interesting about this word or phrase?

Comments that don't adhere to our Community Guidelines may be moderated or removed.