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Edges and Gaps: Contrast at the Interfaces

Molnár, Valéria LU and Winkler, Susanne (2010) In Lingua 120(6). p.1392-1415
Abstract (Swedish)
Abstract in Undetermined

In this paper we discuss the role of contrast in the theory of grammar and show that it is a complex concept cutting across focus and topic. We identify its main characteristics at the interface between syntax-phonology and pragmatics. Our main claim is that contrast is a complex information-structural notion that serves a double function: like focus, contrast is a highlighting device, and like topic, it has the function of discourse linking. This dual character of contrast has previously unrecognized consequences for its linguistic realization and its interaction with givenness. In opposition to unilateral approaches to focus (e.g. Rooth, 1992a) or givenness (e.g. Schwarzschild, 1999), we provide... (More)
Abstract in Undetermined

In this paper we discuss the role of contrast in the theory of grammar and show that it is a complex concept cutting across focus and topic. We identify its main characteristics at the interface between syntax-phonology and pragmatics. Our main claim is that contrast is a complex information-structural notion that serves a double function: like focus, contrast is a highlighting device, and like topic, it has the function of discourse linking. This dual character of contrast has previously unrecognized consequences for its linguistic realization and its interaction with givenness. In opposition to unilateral approaches to focus (e.g. Rooth, 1992a) or givenness (e.g. Schwarzschild, 1999), we provide new empirical evidence that contrast marking by movement (topic or focus) to the edge of the domain, and gap formation by deleting the given material at PF are complementary processes. We refer to these interacting operations as the Edges and Gaps Hypothesis. The proposal, however, is challenged by the fact that the impact of contrast on linguistic structure differs cross-linguistically. The fine-grained comparison of three genetically and typologically related Germanic languages shows that the contrast-related differences are related to word-order and discourse-dependent specifications of edges and gaps. (Less)
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author
organization
publishing date
type
Contribution to journal
publication status
published
subject
keywords
Contrast, Left edge, Gap, Topicalization, Ellipsis, Split topicalization, Language comparison
in
Lingua
volume
120
issue
6
pages
1392 - 1415
publisher
Elsevier
external identifiers
  • wos:000277907900004
  • scopus:77950861942
ISSN
0024-3841
DOI
10.1016/j.lingua.2008.08.010
language
English
LU publication?
yes
id
2905dfbc-a61a-4d3a-85f5-94bd2bbfccda (old id 1486949)
alternative location
http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.lingua.2008.08.010
date added to LUP
2009-10-09 12:22:30
date last changed
2018-05-29 12:30:16
@article{2905dfbc-a61a-4d3a-85f5-94bd2bbfccda,
  abstract     = {<b>Abstract in Undetermined</b><br/><br>
In this paper we discuss the role of contrast in the theory of grammar and show that it is a complex concept cutting across focus and topic. We identify its main characteristics at the interface between syntax-phonology and pragmatics. Our main claim is that contrast is a complex information-structural notion that serves a double function: like focus, contrast is a highlighting device, and like topic, it has the function of discourse linking. This dual character of contrast has previously unrecognized consequences for its linguistic realization and its interaction with givenness. In opposition to unilateral approaches to focus (e.g. Rooth, 1992a) or givenness (e.g. Schwarzschild, 1999), we provide new empirical evidence that contrast marking by movement (topic or focus) to the edge of the domain, and gap formation by deleting the given material at PF are complementary processes. We refer to these interacting operations as the Edges and Gaps Hypothesis. The proposal, however, is challenged by the fact that the impact of contrast on linguistic structure differs cross-linguistically. The fine-grained comparison of three genetically and typologically related Germanic languages shows that the contrast-related differences are related to word-order and discourse-dependent specifications of edges and gaps.},
  author       = {Molnár, Valéria and Winkler, Susanne},
  issn         = {0024-3841},
  keyword      = {Contrast,Left edge,Gap,Topicalization,Ellipsis,Split topicalization,Language comparison},
  language     = {eng},
  number       = {6},
  pages        = {1392--1415},
  publisher    = {Elsevier},
  series       = {Lingua},
  title        = {Edges and Gaps: Contrast at the Interfaces},
  url          = {http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.lingua.2008.08.010},
  volume       = {120},
  year         = {2010},
}