Information Structure in Indigenous Languages of the AmericasLanguage form varies as a result of the information being communicated. Some of the ways in which it varies include word order, referential form, morphological marking, and prosody. The relevant categories of information include the way a word or its referent have been used in context, for example whether a particular referent has been previously mentioned or not, and whether it plays a topical role in the current utterance or discourse. We first provide a broad review of linguistic phenomena that are sensitive to information structure. These disparate approaches reflect the fact that there is little consensus in the field about precisely which information status categories are relevant, or how they should be represented.
Information Structure: Linguistic, Cognitive, and Processing Approaches
Dooley, Notes on Linguistcs. 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.
The book inserts itself in this contemporary interest by providing a collection of articles on different aspects of the syntax-pragmatics interface in the indigenous languages of The Americas. The first chapter provides a brief introduction of the some of the basic descriptive issues addressed in them, and of some of the theoretical tools that have been developed to analyze them. The readerfinds articles that focus mostly on empirical issues, while others are mostly oriented to theoretical issues. Diverse theoretical approaches are addressed, including Minimalism, Optimality-theoretic syntax, and Meaning-Text Theory. The volume includes articles on the following topics: the grammatical means to encode pragmatic notions in Tariana A. Aikhenvald ; the relation between clause structure and information structure in Lushootseed D.
Revue de linguistique, psycholinguistique et informatique. A journal of linguistics, psycholinguistics and computational linguistics. Two visual-world eye-tracking experiments were designed to investigate the resolution of ambiguous German pronouns, the personal pronoun er and the d-pronoun der in spoken discourse. Specifically, the influence of the order of mention and the information status of the antecedent candidates on the resolution preferences following canonical and non-canonical antecedent structures was explored. The results suggest that the two pronominal forms have different coreference functions when they follow canonical topic-comment antecedent structures, in that personal pronouns prefer first-mentioned topical antecedents and d-pronouns second-mentioned non-topical antecedents.