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The Oxford Guide to the Romance Languages$
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Adam Ledgeway and Martin Maiden

Print publication date: 2016

Print ISBN-13: 9780199677108

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: August 2016

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780199677108.001.0001

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Information and discourse structure

Information and discourse structure

(p.596) Chapter 34 Information and discourse structure
The Oxford Guide to the Romance Languages

Silvio Cruschina

Oxford University Press

The main goal of this chapter is to provide a comparative overview of some of the principal aspects of information and discourse structure in Romance, covering such areas as the packaging of information structure according to the encoding of oppositions such as Topic-Comment, Topic-Focus, Given-New; the role and effects of illocutionary force (e.g., declarative, interrogative, exclamative), different clause types (thetic vs non-thetic predications), and the root vs embedded distinction in discourse organization; the encoding of the subject of predication; thematic progression in the realization of arguments; modal subordination and anaphora. Specific topics dealt with include: topic, focus, and sentence types; sentence-focus structures (unmarked word order; verb-subject inversion); predicate-focus structures and topicalization constructions (clitic left dislocation, hanging topic, clitic right dislocation); argument-focus structures and focalization constructions (postverbal focalization and cleft sentences, contrastive focus fronting, information focus fronting, mirative fronting, verum focus fronting, QP-fronting).

Keywords:   information structure, discourse structure, Topic-Comment, Topic-focus, Given-New, clause types, (non-)thetic, subject of predication, thematic progression

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