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The Linguistic Review

Editor-in-Chief: van der Hulst, Harry

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Volume 32, Issue 1


Ambiguity resolution and information structure

M. Teresa Espinal / Xavier Villalba
Published Online: 2015-01-30 | DOI: https://doi.org/10.1515/tlr-2014-0015


In this paper we focus on the topic of ambiguity resolution in and beyond grammar. We deal with two questions: where is ambiguity resolved (in particular, the ambiguity of expressions conveying specific forms of information packaging and common ground management), and what is the design of grammar that emerges from the study of ambiguity problems. After a review of the standard analysis of ambiguity within the Principles and Parameters model, in which ambiguous syntactic objects require different structures at syntax, we will focus on various phenomena that will support a model of grammar in which syntactic structures are mapped into information structures, which will feed both logical form and PF interfaces. In particular, we will show that scope relations between numeral quantifiers in Catalan and the interpretation of preverbal bare nominals in Brazilian Portuguese are sensitive to information structures that need to be translated into representations of meaning which are different from classical LFs in generative grammar. Only PFs are ambiguous.

Keywords: ambiguity; syntax; information structure; logical form; PF

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Published Online: 2015-01-30

Published in Print: 2015-02-01

Citation Information: The Linguistic Review, Volume 32, Issue 1, Pages 61–85, ISSN (Online) 1613-3676, ISSN (Print) 0167-6318, DOI: https://doi.org/10.1515/tlr-2014-0015.

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