Parallel Session of Designated Topic 2: Information Structucture


July 21-26, 2008

Korea University, Seoul, Korea


Organized by

Prof. Manfred Krifka

Humboldt Universität zu Berlin

and Center of General Linguistics (ZAS) Berlin


[email protected]

fax: +49-30-20939729, phone: +49-30-20939670

mail: Institut für deutsche Sprache und Linguistik,

HU Berlin, Unter den Linden 6, D-10099 Berlin, Germany



Information Structure has been an extremely lively research area in linguistics in recent years, an area for which approaches from different subfields of linguistics and different theoretical perspectives have been developed. Following the seminal paper of Chafe (1976), Information Structure is understood here as the packaging of information that responds to the immediate communicative needs of the interlocutors. This includes at least the following distinct types of structure:

topic (the entity or set the utterance is about) vs. comment;

focus (the part of an utterance or utterance meaning that is highlighted) vs.

 background, where a number of different uses of highlighting might be

 distinguished, like contrastive, corrective, or information focus as in answers to

 constituent questions;

old information (parts of utterances that refer to semantic entities that have been

 Mentioned before and are supposed to be present in the attention of the

addressee) vs. new information;

frame setting (delimiting the extend to which an utterance holds) and the framed



The session expects contributions concerning these information packaging devices

with regards to:

their expression in languages in prosody and writing, in morphology and syntax;

their use in communication, e.g. in the answering of questions, in expressing

contrasts, or in marking parallel structures;

their use in contexts other than pure information packaging, e.g. the

truth-conditional impact in sentences with adverbial quantification or

focus-sensitive particles;

their relevance for linguistic theory in general.


Contributions that deal with the expression of information-structural categories in little-studied languages, and contributions that present experimental or

corpus-linguistic evidence, are especially encouraged to apply. Each contribution will be allotted 15 minutes, plus 5 minutes for discussion.



Important Dates:


August  31, 2007: Deadline for submitting the abstract.

November 30, 2007: Notification of acceptance.


Form and submission of abstracts:


An abstract(.pdf or .doc file) should be up to 3 pages long, including data and references.

The abstract should start with the title of the paper, followed by the text of the abstract.

Please do not include the author's name in the abstract. On a separate page, please give

the author's name, affiliation, e-mail address, telephone number, mailing address, the paper title and the session number(title).


Please send the abstract and the author's information to both [email protected] and [email protected].