Synopses & Reviews
Why do languages have so many different ways of expressing the same idea? Lambrecht addresses this question through an investigation of the "information structure" of sentences. 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. Four independent but interrelated categories are analyzed: presupposition and assertion, identifiability and activation, topic, and focus.
"It represents the state of the art in functional syntax." Journal of Linguistics
"I recommend that this book be placed in all field libraries, and that consultants in discourse, syntax, and translation be familiar with t." Robert A. Dooley, Notes on Linguistcs
This major contribution to the study of discourse pragmatics investigates the 'information structure' of sentences.
Table of Contents
Preface; 1. Introduction; 2. Information; 3. The mental representations of discourse referents; 4. Pragmatic relations: topic; 5. Pragmatic relations: focus; 6. Conclusion; Bibliography; Index.