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Jost Gippert: Our Featured Linguist!

"Buenos dias", "buenas noches" -- this was the first words in a foreign language I heard in my life, as a three-year old boy growing up in developing post-war Western Germany, where the first gastarbeiters had arrived from Spain. Fascinated by the strange sounds, I tried to get to know some more languages, the only opportunity being TV courses of English and French -- there was no foreign language education for pre-teen school children in Germany yet in those days. Read more

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Conference Information

Full Title: DGfS Workshop: Information Structural Evidence in the Race for Salience

Location: Potsdam, Germany
Start Date: 13-Mar-2013 - 15-Mar-2013
Contact: Anke Holler, Miriam Ellert
Meeting Email: click here to access email
Meeting URL: http://www.uni-goettingen.de/de/361583.html
Meeting Description: Information Structural Evidence in the Race for Salience
Workshop Section at the 35th Annual Conference of the German Linguistic Society (DGfS)
March 13-15, 2013, Potsdam, Germany
Anke Holler & Miriam Ellert, Universität Göttingen, {aholler,mellert}@phil.uni-goettingen.de

Several linguistic devices may signal differences in the information structure: intonation, word order, particles, and anaphoric expressions. Interestingly, studies on pronoun resolution have so far in general understood these devices as resolution cues, i.e. subject antecendents being preferred over object antecedents (grammatical role) or first-mentioned antecedents being preferred over second-mentioned antecedents (position) with the possible explanation that they elevate the degree of salience of the antecedent. Information structure was understood as one cue among this set (topic vs. non-topic). However, understanding grammatical role, position and anaphoric expressions all as linguistic devices marking information structure calls for the need to take a different perspective in future studies and to discuss possible methods to experimentally address these issues. Moreover, since resolution studies usually manipulated antecedent-anaphor relationships on the two-sentence level, it may be asked how information structural effects come into play in a discourse richer context.

Invited Speakers:

Tom Roeper, University of Massachusetts Amherst
Linguistic Subfield: Historical Linguistics; Language Acquisition; Pragmatics; Psycholinguistics; Semantics
LL Issue: 23.2604

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