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Information structure in linguistics

Matić, D. (2015). Information structure in linguistics. In J. D. Wright (Ed.), The International Encyclopedia of Social and Behavioral Sciences (2nd ed.) Vol. 12 (pp. 95-99). Amsterdam: Elsevier. doi:10.1016/B978-0-08-097086-8.53013-X.
Information structure is a subfield of linguistic research dealing with the ways speakers encode instructions to the hearer on how to process the message relative to their temporary mental states. To this end, sentences are segmented into parts conveying known and yet-unknown information, usually labeled ‘topic’ and ‘focus.’ Many languages have developed specialized grammatical and lexical means of indicating this segmentation.
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The Max Planck Institute for Psycholinguistics is an institute of the German Max Planck Society. Our mission is to undertake basic research into the psychological,social and biological foundations of language. The goal is to understand how our minds and brains process language, how language interacts with other aspects of mind, and how we can learn languages of quite different types.

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