In this book a syntactic account of Information Structure encoding is
worked out which is based on the Derivation by Phase theory and the
cartographic approach to the syntax-pragmatics interface. The analysis is
developed on the basis of Information Structure encoding in Russian, a
discourse configurational language. The book comprises a thorough
description of the Russian data, an overview of previous research on the
subject, a new syntactic analysis, and an extension of the proposed
approach to other languages.
The analysis put forth in this book is based on the idea that Information
Structure is encoded directly in narrow syntax via [Topic] and [Focus]
features. These features are checked by feature-matching with the dedicated
functional heads, Topo and Foco, which form part of the phasal Edge, a
structural domain relevant for discourse-related information encoding. The
main premise of the present study is that the Edge is an integral part of
the architecture of both phases, vP and CP. Thus [Topic] and [Focus]
features can be checked at the level of vP as well as at the level of CP.
The conclusion reached in the study is that all languages use the vP- and
the CP-phase Edges for Information Structure encoding. Crosslinguistic
variation stems from the extent to which the Edges are activated as well as
from some IS-independent language-specific grammatical properties.
The book will be of interest to researchers working on syntax, the relation
between syntax and pragmatics as well as for those interested in
cross-linguistic instantiation of Information Structure.