Information Structure and Sentence Form: Topic, Focus, and the Mental Representations of Discourse Referents

Cambridge University Press (1994)
Why do speakers of all languages use different grammatical structures under different communicative circumstances to express the same idea? In this comprehensive study, Professor Lambrecht explores the relationship between the structure of sentences and the linguistic and extra-linguistic contexts in which they are used. His analysis is based on the observation that the structure of a sentence reflects a speaker's assumptions about the hearer's state of knowledge and consciousness at the time of the utterance. This relationship between speaker assumptions and formal sentence structure is governed by rules and conventions of grammar, in a component called 'information structure'. Four independent but interrelated categories are analysed: presupposition and assertion, identifiability and activation, topic, and focus.
Keywords Grammar, Comparative and general Sentences  Grammar, Comparative and general Syntax  Discourse analysis  Pragmatics
Categories (categorize this paper)
Buy the book $65.00 used (34% off)   $70.75 new (28% off)   $78.80 direct from Amazon (20% off)    Amazon page
Call number P295.L36 1994
ISBN(s) 9780521380560   0521587042   0521380561
 Save to my reading list
Follow the author(s)
My bibliography
Export citation
Find it on Scholar
Edit this record
Mark as duplicate
Revision history
Request removal from index
Download options
Our Archive

Upload a copy of this paper     Check publisher's policy     Papers currently archived: 27,157
External links

Setup an account with your affiliations in order to access resources via your University's proxy server
Configure custom proxy (use this if your affiliation does not provide a proxy)
Through your library
References found in this work BETA

No references found.

Add more references

Citations of this work BETA
Domains of Discourse.François Recanati - 1996 - Linguistics and Philosophy 19 (5):445 - 475.
Existentials, Predication, and Modification.Itamar Francez - 2009 - Linguistics and Philosophy 32 (1):1-50.

View all 10 citations / Add more citations

Similar books and articles

Monthly downloads

Added to index


Total downloads

233 ( #15,467 of 2,163,629 )

Recent downloads (6 months)

24 ( #14,798 of 2,163,629 )

How can I increase my downloads?

My notes
Sign in to use this feature

There  are no threads in this forum
Nothing in this forum yet.

Other forums