Information structure in linguistics
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.