None, assuming a basic knowledge of phonology, semantics/pragmatics, and morphosyntax.
Speakers of any human language take into account who they are speaking to. But what effect does that have on the language? It affects communication, but does it form part of the grammar? In this course we consider how we convey to the hearer not only information about events (who took part, what happened, etc.) but also what is new or old information, and what is contrasted. That is, how we structure our information. Languages show enormous variation in expressing this information structure, using word order, prosody, and morphosyntactic marking. In this course we overview key concepts of information structure, such as topic and focus, and discuss methodology for investigating them. We will see that information structure is a true web between all other core areas of linguistics!
After the course
Students are comfortable with what information structure is and can explain concepts such as ‘focus’, ‘topic’, ‘contrast’, etc.
Students have an idea of the crosslinguistic variation in the expression of information structure, and can identify different linguistic strategies for the expression of information structure.
Students have practical experience in analysing linguistic data in terms of information structure and are equipped with the methodology needed to investigate it in their own research.
Mode of instruction
Total course load: 140 h (5EC)
Contact hours: 12
Preparation for class, including presentation: 70 hours
Final paper: 58 hours
Active participation in class discussion (20%)
Final paper (35%)
If needed for a ‘resit’, the final paper can be resubmitted. Note that class participation is obligatory.
Weekly reading is essential course preparation. We will read introductory chapters and more advanced primary literature, provided via Blackboard.
As general preparation, students are encouraged to consult the following:
Féry, Caroline, & Sinichiro Ishihara. 2015. Introduction. In The Oxford handbook of information structure, ed. by C. Féry & S. Ishihara, 1-15. Oxford: Oxford University Press.
Foley, William A. 1994. Information structure. In The Encyclopedia of Language and Linguistics, ed. by R.E. Asher, 1678-85: Pergamon Press.
Krifka, Manfred & Renate Musan. 2012. Information structure: overview and linguistic issues. In The expression of information structure, ed. by M. Krifka & R. Musan, 1-44. Berlin: Mouton de Gruyter.
Lambrecht, Knud. 1994. Information structure and sentence form. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.
Enrolment through My Studymap is mandatory
For substantive questions, contact the lecturer listed in the right information bar
For questions related to the content of the course, please contact the lecturer, you can find their contact information by clicking on their name in the sidebar.
For questions regarding enrollment please contact the Education Administration Office Reuvensplaats E-mail address Education Administration Office Reuvensplaats: firstname.lastname@example.org
For questions regarding your studyprogress contact the Coordinator of Studies