Information Structuring in Discourse


A text usually provides more information than a random sequence of clauses: It combines sentence-level information to larger units which are glued together by coherence relations that may induce a hierarchical discourse structure. Since linguists have begun to investigate texts as more complex units of linguistic communication, it has been controversially discussed what the appropriate level of analysis of discourse structure ought to be and what the criteria to identify (minimal) discourse units are. Linguistic structure–and more precisely, the extraction and integration of syntactic, semantic, and pragmatic information–is shown to be at the center of text processing and discourse comprehension. However, its role in the establishment of basic building blocks for a coherent discourse is still a subject of debate. This collection addresses these issues using various methodological approaches. It presents current results in theoretical, diachronic, experimental as well as computational research on structuring information in discourse.

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Anke Holler, Ph.D. (2002), University of Tübingen holds a chair in German Linguistics at the University of Göttingen focusing on theoretical grammar and experimental linguistics. In 2009 she was appointed spokeswoman of the Göttingen Research Centre Text Structures.

Katja Suckow, Ph.D. (2013), University of Dundee, Scotland, has been a postdoctoral researcher at the University of Göttingen since 2013 working on memory effects in language processing and discourse relations.

Israel de la Fuente, Ph.D. (2015), Université de Paris, is an Associate Professor in English Linguistics at the Université de Lille (France) and member of the research lab Savoir, Textes, Langage (UMR 8163 - CNRS) working on experimental linguistics and psycholinguistics.
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Notes on Contributors

1 Structuring Information in Discourse: Topics and Methods
Israel de la Fuente, Anke Holler and Katja Suckow

2 Coherence and the Interpretation of Personal and Demonstrative Pronouns in German
Yvonne Portele and Markus Bader

3 Cleft Focus and Antecedent Accessibility: The Emergence of the Anti-focus Effect
Clare Patterson and Claudia Felser

4 Topics and Subjects in German Newspaper Editorials: A Corpus Study
Peter Bourgonje and Manfred Stede

5 Inferable and Partitive Indefinites in Topic Position
Klaus von Heusinger and Umut Özge

6 Projection to the Speaker: Non-restrictive Relatives Meet Coherence Relations
Katja Jasinskaja and Claudia Poschmann

7 Central Adverbial Clauses and the Derivation of Subject-Initial V2
Liliane Haegeman

8 Discourse Conditions on Relative Clauses: A Crosslinguistic and Diachronic Study on the Interaction between Mood, Verb Position and Information Structure
Marco Coniglio and Roland Hinterhölzl

9 What’s in an Act? Towards a Functional Discourse Grammar of Platonic Dialogue and a Linguistic Commentary on Plato’s Protagoras
Cassandra Freiberg

All interested in current issues of discourse representation and segmentation in the linguistic structure from a theoretical as well as a processing perspective.
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