Information Structural Evidence in the Race for Salience
Workshop Section at the 35th Annual Conference of the German Linguistic Society (DGfS)
Organizers: Anke Holler und Miriam Ellert
March 13th-15th, 2013, Potsdam, Germany
Several linguistic devices may signal differences in the information structure: intonation, word order, particles, and anaphoric expressions. Interestingly, studies on pronoun resolution have so far in general understood these devices as resolution cues, i.e. subject antecendents being preferred over object antecedents (grammatical role) or first-mentioned antecedents being preferred over second-mentioned antecedents (position) with the possible explanation that they elevate the degree of salience of the antecedent. Information structure was understood as one cue among this set (topic vs. non-topic). However, understanding grammatical role, position and anaphoric expressions all as linguistic devices marking information structure calls for the need to take a different perspective in future studies and to discuss possible methods to experimentally address these issues. Moreover, since resolution studies usually manipulated antecedent-anaphor relationships on the two-sentence level, it may be asked how information structural effects come into play in a discourse richer context.
The aim of this working section is to bring together researchers from the two fields of research and to discuss the link of information structure and anaphora resolution. We particularly welcome contributions (in English or German) from researchers who theoretically focus on anaphora resolution incorporating effects of information structure, or from experimentalists who are interested in the interplay of linguistic devices encoding information structure, and anaphora resolution. We are also interested in contributions which understand anaphora resolution in a discourse richer context, or which approach the topic cross-linguistically, historically or from an acquisitional perspective, or which have used different empirical methods to access these issues.