In this book leading scholars provide state-of-the-art overviews of
approaches to the formal expression of information structure in natural
language and its interaction with general principles of human cognition and
communication. They present critical accounts of current understanding of
how aspects of grammar, such as prosody, syntax, morphology, semantics, and
pragmatics, interact in the packing and unpacking of information in
communication. They also look at the psycholinguistics behind the
production and perception of information-structural categories. The book
reflects the advances in recent research on all central aspects of the
subject, including concepts of focus versus background, topic versus
comment, and given versus new, and the kinds of inferences required to make
sense of different combinations of words, syntax, intonation, and context.
The chapters include typological and diachronic perspectives on information
structure. Taken as a whole the book demonstrates the productive value of
combining theoretical and experimental approaches.