The dynamicity of communication below, around and above the clause
  • ISSN 1874-8767
  • E-ISSN: 1874-8775


Previous studies indicate that speakers signal the informational status of referents through a combination of intonation, word order and lexical realisation. In this paper, I argue for a non-binary view of information structure with referents being (1) hearer and discourse new, (2) discourse new but hearer given and (3) hearer and discourse given. Thus there can be no simple one-to-one relationship between information structure, lexical realisation and accenting. In the spoken data examined, evidence was found to substantiate a relationship between referential distance and lexical realisation but not between referential distance and tonic accenting. Tonic accents signal speakers’ subjective projection of the importance of a referent but the exact informational meaning signalled by the referent depends on a combination of tonic accent, tone choice, key, linear position and lexical realisation.

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