Discourse structure and sentential information structure. An initial proposal

In this article we argue that discourse structure constrains the set ofpossible constituents in a discourse that can provide the relevantcontext for structuring information in a target sentence, whileinformation structure critically constrains discourse structureambiguity. For the speaker, the discourse structure provides a set of possible contexts for continuation while information structure assignment is independent of discourse structure. For the hearer, the information structure of a sentence together with discourse structure instructs dynamic semantics how rhematic information should be used to update the meaning representation of the discourse (Polanyi and van den Berg, 1996).
Keywords discourse structure  focus/background  information structure  Linguistic Discourse Model (LDM)  prosody  theme/rheme
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DOI 10.1023/A:1024187311998
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