When Data Challenges Theory

Unexpected and paradoxical evidence in information structure

| University of Zurich & ZHAW, Winterthur
| University of Freiburg
ISBN 9789027210807 | EUR 99.00 | USD 149.00
e-BookOrdering information
ISBN 9789027258151 | EUR 99.00 | USD 149.00
This volume offers a critical appraisal of the tension between theory and empirical evidence in research on information structure.

The relevance of ‘unexpected’ data taken into account in the last decades, such as the well-known case of non-focalizing cleft sentences in Germanic and Romance, has increasingly led us to give more weight to explanations involving inferential reasoning, discourse organization and speakers’ rhetorical strategies, thus moving away from ‘sentence-based’ perspectives. At the same time, this shift towards pragmatic complexity has introduced new challenges to well-established information-structural categories, such as Focus and Topic, to the point that some scholars nowadays even doubt about their descriptive and theoretical usefulness.

This book brings together researchers working in different frameworks and delving into cross linguistic as well as language-internal variation and language contact. Despite their differences, all contributions are committed to the same underlying goal: appreciating the relation between linguistic structures and their context based on a firm empirical grounding and on theoretical models that are able to account for the challenges and richness of language use.

[Linguistik Aktuell/Linguistics Today, 273]  Expected March 2022.  vi, 303 pp. + index
Publishing status: In production
Table of Contents
This is a provisional table of contents, and subject to changes.
Introduction. When data challenges theory: The analysis of information structure and its paradoxes
Davide Garassino and Daniel Jacob
Part I. Theoretical studies
Distinguishing psychological Given/New from linguistic Topic/Focus makes things clearer
Edoardo Lombardi Vallauri
Remarks on information structure marking asymmetries: The epistemological view on the micropragmatic profile of utterances
Viviana Masia
Alternatives to information structure
Dejan Matić
How alternatives are created: Specialized background knowledge affects the interpretation of clefts in discourse
Malte Rosemeyer, Daniel Jacob and Lars Konieczny
Is focus a root phenomenon?
Karen Lahousse
The curious case of the rare focus movement in French
Pierre Larrivée
To be or not to be focus adverbials? A corpus-driven study of It. anche in spontaneous spoken Italian
Anna-Maria De Cesare
Unmarked use of marked syntactic structures: Possessives and fronting of non-subject XPs in Bulgarian Judeo-Spanish
Christoph Gabriel and Jonas Grünke
Translation as a source of pragmatic interference? An empirical investigation of French and Italian cleft sentences
Davide Garassino
Part II. Case studies
Subjects & Metadata
BIC Subject: CFK – Grammar, syntax
BISAC Subject: LAN009060 – LANGUAGE ARTS & DISCIPLINES / Linguistics / Syntax
ONIX Metadata
ONIX 2.1
ONIX 3.0