Definition of topicalize in English:


(British topicalise)


[with object]Linguistics
  • Cause (a subject, word, or phrase) to be the topic of a sentence or discourse, typically by placing it first.

    • ‘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.’
    • ‘If we want to topicalise the dative object in German, we can simply do without making it the subject.’
    • ‘It is also possible to topicalize the verb phrase: Waffle on Falkland Islands is what the British Left did.’
    • ‘Nevertheless, no significant overall advantage is observed in production of topicalized sentences.’
    • ‘It's also used to topicalise any part of a sentence by fronting it in a cleft structure.’
    • ‘Neither can you use front extraposition to topicalise in English as you can in Putongua.’
    • ‘This explains the context dependency of the interpretation of topicalised non-finite modifiers in CamE.’
    • ‘This means that students acquire the skill to topicalize scientifically their understanding of the frame concepts.’
    • ‘Its present tense was similarly chosen to discourage construal with topicalised elements.’
    • ‘If we do not topicalise the similarity, we have these two choices for the sentence.’
    • ‘Analyses of the compositions reveal that learners of both groups could only appropriately use the ‘wa’ which topicalizes nominative subjects and not those with other functions.’
    • ‘It was topicalizing long before most of us had a word for the activity; it is similar to, but instead of creating a single topic, it creates a series of topics, one for each iteration.’
    • ‘The clitics attract the verbal object out of the VP and thereby allow the object to be topicalised.’
    • ‘Several complex constructions of English grammar are introduced: constituent questions, relative clauses, topicalizing, clefting.’