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ITAL4922 - The Syntax of Information Structure

Value: 0.5 course units
Dr Vieri Samek-Lodovici
Teaching structure:
one assessed 4500 word essay (100%).

Module Description:

This module provides an in-depth introduction to information structure, the discipline that examines how discourse context affects syntax across different languages. Information structure has become increasingly relevant to linguistic research, and Italian is particularly important due to its many constructions expressing specialized relations with the discourse context. The module examines different types of focus (presentational/contrastive), their syntactic expression (sentence-initial, intermediate, sentence-final), and their relation with other grammatical constructs. It also examines discourse-givenness, some of the associated constructions (left-peripheral topics, marginalization, right-dislocation), and the corresponding discourse functions (aboutness topics, contrastive topics, background).