Cecilia Poletto and Giuliano Bocci
The chapter presents a general overview of several phenomena related to information structure in the Romance languages and varieties spoken in Europe and takes into account the left and the right side of the clause as the locus where information structure is encoded. The first part presents an overview of the syntactic and phonological properties of constructions like Hanging Topics, Left Dislocation, and fronted foci and of their pragmatic import as well as of the properties of constructions which occur on the right side of the clause (i.e. Right Dislocation, Marginalization, word order alternations, and focus). In the second part a general overview of syntactic and prosodic accounts proposed in the literature is provided with special attention to the problems each type of account raises with respect to the empirical domain considered.
Ina Bornkessel-Schlesewsky and Petra B. Schumacher
This chapter reviews neurophysiological and neuroanatomical investigations of information structural notions, with a view to working towards a neurobiologically grounded perspective. It first considers components of a neurobiologically plausible theory of information structure and outlines candidate mechanisms for higher-order cognitive processing, namely prediction and mental modelling, attention orientation, memory, and inferencing. The chapter then proceeds to neuroscientific investigations of information structure, highlighting differences between sentence- and text-level processing and discussing findings for the information structural notions of givenness, focus, and topic, before presenting further insights from syntax-induced information structural effects. The chapter concludes with a discussion of neurobiological models of information structure processing.