Information structural notions and the fallacy of invariant correlates

  • In a first step, definitions of the irreducible information structural categories are given, and in a second step, it is shown that there are no invariant phonological or otherwise grammatical correlates of these categories. In other words, the phonology, syntax or morphology are unable to define information structure. It is a common mistake that information structural categories are expressed by invariant grammatical correlates, be they syntactic, morphological or phonological. It is rather the case that grammatical cues help speaker and hearer to sort out which element carries which information structural role, and only in this sense are the grammatical correlates of information structure important. Languages display variation as to the role of grammar in enhancing categories of information structure, and this variation reflects the variation found in the ‘normal’ syntax and phonology of languages.

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Author:Caroline Féry
Parent Title (German):Working Papers of the SFB 632, Interdisciplinary Studies on Information Structure (ISIS), 6, 2007
Place of publication:Potsdam
Document Type:Part of a Book
Date of Publication (online):2008/11/06
Year of first Publication:2007
Publishing Institution:Universitätsbibliothek Johann Christian Senckenberg
Release Date:2008/11/06
First Page:161
Last Page:184
Source:Working Papers of the SFB 632, Interdisciplinary Studies on Information Structure (ISIS), 6, 2007, S. 161-184 ;
Dewey Decimal Classification:4 Sprache / 40 Sprache / 400 Sprache
Licence (German):License LogoDeutsches Urheberrecht