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This thesis presents a narrative salience scheme for Hmong Soud, a variety of Hmong spoken in Yunnan Province, China. Hmong Soud is an isolating SVO language of the Hmongic branch of the Hmong-Mien (Miao-Yao) language family.
“Salience scheme” is a term coined by Robert Longacre to describe how a language distinguishes different types of foreground and background information for a particular discourse type. Ten narrative texts of various types (traditional folk tales, an animal folk tale, retellings of a video clip, a historical account, and a first person narrative) are analyzed following the model of Longacre. Semantic criteria are applied to each clause to determine the emic salience bands or information types used in Hmong Soud, the linguistic signals used to mark those bands, and signals used to promote or demote clauses between background and foreground.