Sociobiological Bases of Information Structure

| University of Roma Tre
ISBN 9789027204639 | EUR 99.00 | USD 149.00
ISBN 9789027264688 | EUR 99.00 | USD 149.00
The book tackles the sociobiological bases of Information Structure (IS) inquiring both its evidential and neurobiological underpinnings in human communication. Its purpose is to delve into the epistemic and neurocognitive rationales behind the realization of informational hierarchies in a sentence. The book zooms in on an interplay, that between IS and evidentiality, that has never been explored in IS studies and seeks to recast IS phenomena in an epistemological perspective. The neurocognitive approaches discussed propose neurophysiological investigations on IS processing, both with ERP and ERS vs. ERD measurements. In its overall structure and general purposes, the book is conceived for interested scholars working in the fields of linguistics, neuropragmatics, experimental psychology, philosophy of language and cognitive sciences in general, and it adds some further contribution to ongoing psycholinguistic and neurolinguistic experimental research on the processing of topic-focus and presupposition-assertion dichotomies.
[Advances in Interaction Studies, 9]  2017.  xxi, 193 pp.
Publishing status: Available
Table of Contents
List of tables
List of figures
Chapter 1. Presupposition and assertion: Theoretical overviews
Chapter 2. Topic, focus, given and new: Theoretical overviews
Chapter 3. Sociobiological perspectives: For a unified account of evidentiality and information structure
Chapter 4. Experimental perspectives on information structure processing: A literature review
Chapter 5. Experimental perspectives on information structure processing: Two electrophysiological studies
Chapter 6. A biolinguistic perspective on information structure
“This book opens a new perspective in the studies on both Evidentiality and Information Structure, in that it shows that the two categories are strongly related. Moreover, it is among the first studies accounting for neuroscientific inquiry on Information Structure categories such as presuppositions.”
“By combining together a solid experimental design in neurolinguistics with a fresh look at evidentiality as pragmatic information managing, which goes beyond the traditional restriction to information source, Viviana Masia has produced a thought-provoking piece of research that will be of interest both to linguists and neuro-/psycholinguists.”
“The research presents an updated survey of the main theoretical approaches dedicated to the analysis of Information Structure. The focus is on the relationship between evidentiality and the essential properties of information units, trying a new path for their definition. A specific added value of the work is its strong look to the neurocognitive bases that support the decoding of Information Structure, both in isolated utterances and in the wider social context of the discourse. Coherently with the idea that presupposition is at the basis of topicalization, her experiments show that the best processing of topicalized and focused information is the outcome of expectations derived from the listener’s model. Finding an evolutionistic explanation for Information Structure is the final goal of the research.”


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(2000) Holistic utterances in protolanguage: The link from primates to humans. In C. Knight, M. Studdert-Kennedy, & J. Hurford (Eds.), The evolutionary emergence of language (pp. 285–302). Cambridge: Cambridge University Press. Crossref link
Cited by

Cited by other publications

Cresti, Emanuela & Massimo Moneglia
2018. The definition of the TOPIC within Language into Act Theory and its identification in spontaneous speech corpora. Revue Romane 53:1  pp. 30 ff. Crossref logo
Langsford, Steven, Rachel G. Stephens, John C. Dunn & Richard L. Lewis
2019. In Search of the Factors Behind Naive Sentence Judgments: A State Trace Analysis of Grammaticality and Acceptability Ratings. Frontiers in Psychology 10 Crossref logo

This list is based on CrossRef data as of 29 june 2020. Please note that it may not be complete. Sources presented here have been supplied by the respective publishers. Any errors therein should be reported to them.

BIC Subject: CFG – Semantics, Pragmatics, Discourse Analysis
BISAC Subject: LAN009000 – LANGUAGE ARTS & DISCIPLINES / Linguistics / General
U.S. Library of Congress Control Number:  2017041493