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In a first step, definitions of the irreducible information structural categories are given, and in a second step, it is shown that there are no invariant phonological or otherwise grammatical correlates of these categories. In other words, the phonology, syntax or morphology are unable to define information structure. It is a common mistake that information structural categories are expressed by invariant grammatical correlates, be they syntactic, morphological or phonological. It is rather the case that grammatical cues help speaker and hearer to sort out which element carries which information structural role, and only in this sense are the grammatical correlates of information structure important. Languages display variation as to the role of grammar in enhancing categories of information structure, and this variation reflects the variation found in the “normal” syntax and phonology of languages.

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Acta Linguistica Hungarica
Authors: Caroline Féry, Gisbert Fanselow, and Manfred Krifka
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