Thursday 12 May – Jutta Hartmann

Speakers: Jutta Hartmann (University of Bielefeld)
Title: Syntax-Information-Structure Interaction: Data and analysis
Date: Thursday 12 May
Venue: Online (join our mailing list to receive link) / watch on campus in Lipsius 121
Time: 16.15 – 17.30 hrs

In this talk, I discuss a number of different structures which show different ways of the interaction of syntax and information-structure: specificational copular clauses in Germanic, clefts and pseudoclefts, and (apparent) topic movement in German. These structures ilustrate different concepts of information-structure and different ways of interaction with syntax. I propose that such interaction should indeed be modelled as part of syntax, but in close interaction with an information-structural module. The core idea is that syntax and information-structure interact during the derivation with phases being sent to the information-structural module, which assigns feature bundels to these structures. The feature bundels combine information-structureal features, formal features readable in syntax, semantic features readable to LF, and phonological features relevant for PF. In this way, this module handles the interaction with context. I discuss the merits of such an appraoch compared to syntactic approaches using TopP and FocP, and contrast it with interface proposals for such an interaction.

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