Recent trends in the area of information structure have focused on the relation between information structure and discourse to seek an answer to the question how sentences are integrated into larger discourse units. The present volume brings together syntacticians, semanticists and psycholinguists who investigate the mechanisms behind this process. The leading idea is based on two converging mechanisms. On the one hand, the form-function relation is determined by bottom-up processes, such as syntax and semantics. On the other hand, it is determined by top-down processes, such as pragmatics, which integrates insights from information structure theory. The challenging aspect of this research is to find out how syntax, semantics and pragmatics work together in the integration process. At the sentence level, syntax and information structure are responsible for making a sentence fit into the preceding context and the common ground. At the pragmatic level, QUD models provide tools that show how discourse is structured and how sentences are optimally integrated into discourse. The volume presents cutting-edge research, which investigates such processes in different areas of grammar, such as ellipsis, anaphora, adverbials, and interrogatives.
Andreas Konietzko and
Susanne Winkler, University of Tübingen.