Information structure and reference tracking in complex sentences: An overview

Matić, D., Van Gijn, R., & Van Valin Jr., R. D. (2014). Information structure and reference tracking in complex sentences: An overview. In R. van Gijn, J. Hammond, D. Matić, S. van Putten, & A. Galucio (Eds.), Information structure and reference tracking in complex sentences. (pp. 1-42). Amsterdam: Benjamins.
This volume is dedicated to exploring the crossroads where complex sentences and information management – more specifically information structure (IS) and reference tracking (RT) – come together. Complex sentences are a highly relevant but understudied domain for studying notions of IS and RT. On the one hand, a complex sentence can be studied as a mini-unit of discourse consisting of two or more elements describing events, situations, or processes, with its own internal information-structural and referential organisation. On the other hand, complex sentences can be studied as parts of larger discourse structures, such as narratives or conversations, in terms of how their information-structural characteristics relate to this wider context.We first focus on the interrelatedness of IS and RT (Section 1) and then define and discuss the notion of complex sentences and their subtypes in Section 2. Section 3 surveys issues of IS in complex sentences, while Section 4 focuses on RT in complex sentences. Sections 5 and 6 briefly consider IS and RT in a wider discourse context. Section 5 discusses the interaction between IS, RT, and other discourse factors, and Section 6 focuses on ways in which a specific RT system, switch reference, can function as an RT device beyond the sentence.
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