Syntax and Information Structure

Syntax and Information Structure

Free Constituent Order and Flexible Relative Prominence in Serbian

Scholar's Press ( 2013-02-18 )

€ 79,00

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For any human language, we can distinguish between the information its utterances convey and the way the “packaging” of the relevant information is done. The latter is referred to as information structure. This book proposes a model that accounts for an important but understudied phenomenon of the syntax/semantics/pragmatics interface: how different constituent orders and different prosodic patterns correlate with the information structure in a free constituent order language. The study focuses on Serbian, a free constituent order language with flexible relative prominence. The major claim of the study is that the driving force behind constituent order variation is a principle that requires that constituents which participate in domain restriction be overtly moved into the restriction clause of the quantification structure. The study also provides evidence that constituent order variation and flexible relative prominence in a free constituent order language such as Serbian must be driven by independent modules of the grammar. The proposed model, whose predictions are confirmed experimentally, is then used to account for certain widely discussed interface phenomena.

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Nikola Predolac

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General and comparative linguistics