By Knud Lambrecht
Why do languages have such a lot of other ways of expressing a similar thought? Lambrecht addresses this question via an research of the "information constitution" of sentences. His research is predicated at the statement that the constitution of a sentence displays a speaker's assumptions in regards to the hearer's country of data and recognition on the time of the utterance. 4 autonomous yet interrelated different types are analyzed: presupposition and statement, identifiability and activation, subject, and concentration.
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Additional info for Information Structure and Sentence Form: Topic, Focus, and the Mental Representations of Discourse Referents
For example, hy 1 ............................... ----------~~~~ Jespersen in bis Philosophy oj· Gran1111ar ( 1924). In his discussion of the concepts "subject" and "predicate," Jespersen writes: The subject is sometimes said to be the relatively familiar element, to which the predicate is added as something new ... " we say "Peter said it," Peler is \he new element, and yet it is undoubtedly the subject. The "new information" is not always contained in the predicate, but it is always inherent in the connection of the two elements, - in the fact that these two elements are put together.
E. in a context 1n fact audience could be expectt:d to kno\\' that the speaker had a car. pll1tt than others, for reasons 20 nt is which I cannot go into hert:. l L•)unts fpr the present argume by n1erely n )ituat1o al )<;ition presurr• nL'\\. a this: if a speaker can CREATE 67 l using an expression which requires this situation, then presupp ositiona IONS, struc,tures must indeed be INHERENT PROPERTIES OF LINGUISTIC EXPRESS whether words or constructions. in Stalnaker's views of presupposition, in particu lar the idea expressed s observe Lewis (1979).
9 To sum up, the informa(ion conveyed by a proposition cannot be factored out and matched with individual sentence constituents. In particular. the difference betv. -·een these denotata and the propositions in \vhich they play the role of predicate$ or arguments. -• a (heorefn:a! disC1nct1on bct\veen the pragmatic status of individual items in a proposition and the infonnation conveyed by the proposition as a \\'hole is n11\ a new 1dea. It is stated. for example, hy 1 ...............................