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Lecture | Com(parative) Syn(tax) Series

Syntax-Information-Structure Interaction: Data and analysis

Thursday 12 May 2022
Com(parative) Syn(tax) Series
Online | Join the mailing list to receive the link or watch on campus in Lipsius 121


In this talk, I discuss a number of different structures which show different ways of the interaction of syntax and information-structure: specificational copular clauses in Germanic, clefts and pseudoclefts, and (apparent) topic movement in German. These structures ilustrate different concepts of information-structure and different ways of interaction with syntax. I propose that such interaction should indeed be modelled as part of syntax, but in close interaction with an information-structural module. The core idea is that syntax and information-structure interact during the derivation with phases being sent to the information-structural module, which assigns feature bundels to these structures. The feature bundels combine information-structureal features, formal features readable in syntax, semantic features readable to LF, and phonological features relevant for PF. In this way, this module handles the interaction with context. I discuss the merits of such an appraoch compared to syntactic approaches using TopP and FocP, and contrast it with interface proposals for such an interaction.

Link to post on ComSyn website: here.

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