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date: 25 January 2020

Abstract and Keywords

This chapter explores the relationship between information structure and language comprehension from a psycholinguistic perspective. More specifically, it considers how information structure, when signalled by syntactic or prosodic cues, is processed during language comprehension. It begins with a brief review of some of the key psycholinguistic methods that have been used to investigate questions about information structure, including reaction-time-based measures, attention-based measures, and off-line methods. It then discusses major research findings regarding the comprehension of syntactic cues and prosodic cues to information structure. It also considers the relationship between prosody and information structure and its importance to our understanding of focus and focus alternatives. The article concludes by outlining broader issues and directions for psycholinguistic research on information structure.

Keywords: information structure, language comprehension, psycholinguistics, psycholinguistic methods, syntactic cues, prosodic cues, prosody, focus, psycholinguistic research

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