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Information Structure and Sentence Form : Topic, Focus, and the Mental Representations of Discourse Referents - Knud Lambrecht

Information Structure and Sentence Form

Topic, Focus, and the Mental Representations of Discourse Referents

Paperback Published: 3rd February 1997
ISBN: 9780521587044
Number Of Pages: 408

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Why do languages have so many different ways of expressing the same idea? Professor Lambrecht addresses this question through an investigation of the 'information structure' of sentences. His analysis is based on the observation that the structure of a sentence reflects a speaker's assumptions about the hearer's state of knowledge and consciousness at the time of the utterance. Four independent but inter-related categories are analysed: presupposition and assertion, identifiability and activation, topic, and focus.'It represents the state of the art in functional syntax.' Journal of Linguistics

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'It represents the state of the art in functional syntax.' Journal of Linguistics

Prefacep. xiii
Introductionp. 1
What is information structure?p. 1
The place of information structure in grammarp. 6
Information structure and sentence form: a sample analysisp. 13
Three examplesp. 13
A note on markedness in information structurep. 15
Analysisp. 19
Summaryp. 24
Information structure and syntaxp. 25
Autonomy versus motivation in grammarp. 26
The functional underspecification of syntactic structuresp. 29
Sentence types and the notion of grammatical constructionp. 32
Informationp. 36
The universe of discoursep. 36
Informationp. 43
Presupposition and assertionp. 51
The pragmatic accommodation of presuppositional structurep. 65
The mental representations of discourse referentsp. 74
Discourse referentsp. 74
Identifiabilityp. 77
Identifiability and presuppositionp. 77
Identifiability and definitenessp. 79
The establishment of identifiability in discoursep. 87
Activationp. 93
The activation states of referentsp. 93
Principles of pragmatic construalp. 101
Summary and illustrationp. 105
Identifiability, activation, and the topic focus parameterp. 113
Pragmatic relations: topicp. 117
Definition of topicp. 117
Topic and aboutnessp. 117
Topic referents and topic expressionsp. 127
Topic and subjectp. 131
Subjects as unmarked topicsp. 131
Non-topical subjects and the thetic-categorical distinctionp. 137
Topical non-subjects and multiple-topic sentencesp. 146
Topic, presupposition, and semantic interpretationp. 150
Topic and the mental representations of referentsp. 160
Topic relation and activation statep. 160
The Topic Acceptability Scalep. 165
Unaccented pronominals as preferred topic expressionsp. 172
Topic promotionp. 176
Presentational constructionsp. 177
Detachment constructionsp. 181
Implications for syntactic theoryp. 184
The Principle of the Separation of Reference and Rolep. 184
The PSRR and the canonical sentence modelp. 189
The syntactic status of detached constituentsp. 192
Topic and pragmatic accommodationp. 195
Topic and word orderp. 199
Pragmatic relations: focusp. 206
Definition of focusp. 206
Focus, presupposition, and assertionp. 206
Focus and sentence accentsp. 218
Focus structure and focus markingp. 221
Types of focus structurep. 221
Predicate-focus structurep. 226
Argument-focus structurep. 228
Sentence-focus structurep. 233
Summaryp. 235
Prosodic accents: iconicity, rule, defaultp. 238
Accent, intonation, stressp. 238
Iconic motivation versus grammatical rulep. 241
Default accentuationp. 248
Focus and the mental representations of referentsp. 257
Focus relation and activation statep. 257
Predicates versus argumentsp. 264
Focus relation, activation, and presuppositionp. 269
Complete presupposed propositionsp. 270
Open presupposed propositionsp. 277
Focus and information questionsp. 282
Contrastivenessp. 286
Contrastive focip. 286
Contrastive topicsp. 291
Marked and unmarked focus structurep. 296
Predicate focus and argument focusp. 297
Sentence focusp. 307
The theoretical issuep. 307
Previous approachesp. 311
Prosodic inversionp. 318
A unified functional account of sentence accentuationp. 322
Activation prosody revisitedp. 323
Topic accents and focus accents: some examplesp. 326
Summary and conclusionp. 334
Notesp. 341
Referencesp. 362
Indexp. 376
Table of Contents provided by Syndetics. All Rights Reserved.

ISBN: 9780521587044
ISBN-10: 0521587042
Series: Cambridge Studies in Linguistics (Paperback)
Audience: Professional
Format: Paperback
Language: English
Number Of Pages: 408
Published: 3rd February 1997
Country of Publication: GB
Dimensions (cm): 23.42 x 15.6  x 2.74
Weight (kg): 0.61