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Re: THEORY: Information Structure; Topic/Comment, Focus/Background, Given/New.

From:tomhchappell <tomhchappell@...>
Date:Thursday, December 1, 2005, 23:56
--- In, Jonathan Knibb <j_knibb@H...> wrote:
> [snip] > My difficulty is in distinguishing this use of 'about' from the > given/new axis. Can given information occur other than within > the topic, and can information be new when it is a topic? > Of course a topic is new in the sentence where it is first > introduced into the discourse - but can it be a topic *in that > sentence*? > [snip]
Hi Jonathan. I Googled around with various combinations of search arguments for several days and came across several articles written by Ivana Kruijff-Korbayova. She summarizes everyone's terminologies and theories and their "pedigrees" and dependencies on each other. Most people, she points out, have two partitions of the information structure; for instance, topic vs comment and focus vs ground. In at least one article, she says who makes one of these divisions subordinate to the other (thus coming up with a maximum of three parts) and who makes this divisions orthogonal to each other (thus coming up with possibly four parts). Here are some URLs to look at; I hope they are fun; I hope you get to read at least the shortest ones. (I googled on nucleus focus known unknown presupposition theme rheme context dependent independent accent topic comment bound unbound given new orthogonal background structured meanings DRT alternative set narrow wide link tail C/Q alternatives kontrast to get them, in case I copied any of them wrong.) Tom H.C. in MI