Information structure in Chinese discourse

Research output: Chapter in book / Conference proceedingChapter in an edited book (as author)Academic researchpeer-review


Important tasks for language researchers have included uncovering not only how language works, but what it is, and what it is for (Firth, 1935). In addition to deciding what to say, interlocutors must make choices about how to phrase their utterances. In natural languages, information structure and discourse are held to be universal, and linguistic forms to dynamically reflect and relate informational content to discourse context. Several concepts related to this view will be discussed in this chapter, which is divided into two parts. First, it provides an overview of theories of discourse analysis and information structure in general. Then, it presents the framework and core concepts it adopts, and goes on to explore the universal and Chinese-specific principles of – and structural constraints on – identifying the information statuses of noun phrases. How information packaging interacts with structure and discourse will also be discussed.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationThe Routledge Handbook of Chinese Discourse Analysis
EditorsChris Shei
Place of PublicationLondon
PublisherRoutledge, Taylor & Francis Group
Number of pages15
ISBN (Electronic)9781315213705
Publication statusPublished - 14 Jan 2019

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Language and Linguistics


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