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LINGUIST List 23.4912

Sun Nov 25 2012

Books: The Syntax of Topic, Focus, and Contrast: Neeleman, Vermeulen (Eds)

Editor for this issue: Danniella Hornby <daniellalinguistlist.org>

Date: 22-Nov-2012
From: Linda Steglich <linda.steglichdegruyter.com>
Subject: The Syntax of Topic, Focus, and Contrast: Neeleman, Vermeulen (Eds)
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Title: The Syntax of Topic, Focus, and Contrast
Subtitle: An Interface-based Approach
Series Title: Studies in Generative Grammar [SGG] 113

Publication Year: 2012
Publisher: De Gruyter Mouton

Book URL: http://www.degruyter.com/view/product/182519?format=G

Editor: Ad Neeleman
Editor: Reiko Vermeulen

Electronic: ISBN: 9781614511458 Pages: 307 Price: Europe EURO 99.95
Hardback: ISBN: 9781614511564 Pages: 307 Price: Europe EURO 99.95


This book addresses how core notions of information structure (topic, focus
and contrast) are expressed in syntax. The authors propose that the syntactic
effects of information structure come about as a result of mapping rules that
are flexible enough to allow topics and foci to be expressed in a variety of
positions, but strict enough to capture certain cross-linguistic
generalisations about their distribution. In particular, the papers argue that
only contrastive topics and contrastive foci undergo movement and that this is
because such movement has the function of marking the scope of contrast.
Several predications are derived from this proposal: such as that a focus
cannot move across a topic – whether the latter is in situ or not. Syntactic
and semantic evidence in support of this proposal is presented from a wide
range of languages (including Dutch, English, Japanese, Korean and Russian)
and theoretical consequences explored. The first chapter not only outlines its
theoretical aims, but also provides an introduction to information structure.
As a consequence, the book is accessible to advanced students as well as
professional linguists.

Linguistic Field(s): Semantics

Subject Language(s): Dutch (nld)
English (eng)
Japanese (jpn)
Korean (kor)
Russian (rus)

Written In: English (eng)

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