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date: 04 April 2020

Abstract and Keywords

This chapter provides an overview of central concepts in the study of information structure and their application to grammatical structures of English. The first part focuses on the notions of given and new information, more specifically presupposition, assertion, and the activation of discourse referents, as well as on the concepts of topic and focus. The second part investigates how these concepts conventionally manifest themselves in morphosyntactic structure. This includes a brief discussion of the general principles of end-focus, end-weight, and lexico-grammatical construal as well as specific information packaging constructions, viz. fronting and postponement structures, argument reversal, and clefting. The chapter ends with a brief look at the position of information structure in the study of grammar more generally.

Keywords: given/new information, presupposition, assertion, topic, focus, end-focus, end-weight, construal, information packaging constructions

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