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 <>

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

Publication Year: 2012Publisher: De Gruyter Mouton

Book URL:

Editor: Ad NeelemanEditor: Reiko Vermeulen

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


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

Linguistic Field(s): Semantics Syntax

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

Written In: English (eng)

See this book announcement on our website:

-------------------------- Major Supporters --------------------------


Cambridge Scholars Publishing

Cambridge University Press

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De Gruyter Mouton

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European Language Resources Association - ELRA

Georgetown University Press

Hodder Education

John Benjamins

Lincom GmbH

MIT Press

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Multilingual Matters

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---------------------- Other Supporting Publishers ----------------------

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SIL International

University of Nebraska Press

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Page Updated: 25-Nov-2012