Diachronic Studies on Information Structure: Language Acquisition and Change

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Gisella Ferraresi, Rosemarie Lühr
Walter de Gruyter, Aug 31, 2010 - Language Arts & Disciplines - 217 pages

In the last few years a lively discussion on information packaging has arisen, where traditional dichotomies Theme/Rheme, Topic/Comment and Focus/Background have been taken up again and partly reinterpreted. The discussion is mainly being held in syntax, but also in the fields of semantics and pragmatics. Some remarkable progress has been made especially in Focus phonology.
Even if the role of information conveying and information packaging in the Indoeuropean languages was hinted at as early as in the classical studies of the Neogrammarians, this field has remained neglected in today's historical linguistics. This volume tries to partly cover this lack with a sample of papers which offer a various range of new empirical data analyzed from the point of view of information structure. The novelty of the papers consists in the modern theoretical perspective from which the data are analyzed and in the various phenomena considered, which range from the rise of clitic elements to word order change and verb movement.

Editorial board

Dr. habil. Kai Alter (Newcastle University Medical School)

Prof. Dr. Ulrike Demske (Universität des Saarlandes)

Prof. Dr. Ewald Lang (Humboldt-Universität zu Berlin)

Prof. Dr. Rosemarie Lühr (Friedrich-Schiller-Universität Jena)

Prof. Dr. Thomas Pechmann (Universität Leipzig)

Prof. em. Dr. Anita Steube (Universität Leipzig)

 

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Contents

Introductory Remarks
1
Information Structure Constituent Order and Casein Warihío
15
The Information Structure of OVS in Vedic
37
Information Packaging and the Rise of Clitic Doubling in the History of Spanish
63
Cuebased Acquisition and Information Structure Drift in Diachronic Language Development
87
Decline of Postverbal Topical Subjects in SerboCroat
117
Prosody Information Structure and Word Order Changes in Portuguese
143
The Development of VtoCMovement in the West Germanic and Romance Languages
161
Evidence for Two Types of Focus Positions in Old High German
189
Backmatter
219
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About the author (2010)

Gisella Ferraresi, Johann Wolfgang Goethe-Universität Frankfurt a.M., Germany; Rosemarie Lühr, Friedrich-Schiller-Universität Jena, Germany.

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