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A syntactic typology of topic, focus and contrast

Neeleman, A; Titov, E; van de Koot, H; Vermeulen, R; (2009) A syntactic typology of topic, focus and contrast. In: Alternatives to Cartography. (pp. 15-51). De Gruyter Mouton Green open access

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Abstract

In this paper we argue for a typology of various information-structural func- tions in terms of three privative features: [topic], [focus] and [contrast] (see also Vallduv ́ı and Vilkuna 1998, Molna ́r 2002, McCoy 2003, and Giusti 2006). Aboutness topics and contrastive topics share the feature [topic], new-information foci and contrastive foci share the feature [focus], and contrastive topics and contrastive foci share the feature [contrast]. This typology is supported by data from Dutch (where only contrastive ele- ments may undergo A’-scrambling), Japanese (where aboutness topics and contrastive topics must appear sentence-initially), and Russian (where the new-information foci and contrastive foci share the same underlying position). To the best of our knowledge, there are no generalizations over information-structural functions that do not share one of the features adopted here.

Type: Book chapter
Title: A syntactic typology of topic, focus and contrast
ISBN-13: 9783110206036
Open access status: An open access version is available from UCL Discovery
DOI: 10.1515/9783110217124.15
Publisher version: https://doi.org/10.1515/9783110217124
Language: English
Additional information: This version is the version of record. For information on re-use, please refer to the publisher's terms and conditions.
UCL classification: UCL
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > School of Life and Medical Sciences
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > School of Life and Medical Sciences > Faculty of Brain Sciences
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > School of Life and Medical Sciences > Faculty of Brain Sciences > Div of Psychology and Lang Sciences
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > School of Life and Medical Sciences > Faculty of Brain Sciences > Div of Psychology and Lang Sciences > Linguistics
URI: https://discovery.ucl.ac.uk/id/eprint/10134212
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