Information Structure and Spoken Language:
Cross-Linguistic Comparative Studies


The goal of this workshop is to analyze and compare some of the main processes involved in Information Structuring in several typologically different languages (Indo-European, Finno-Ugric and Uralic, African, Amerindian, Austronesian, Indonesian, Semitic languages ; Basque, Burmese, Japanese, Thai, Vietnamese) and from distinct theoretical and methodological approaches, mainly

  • the formal semantic approach that gives a central role to syntax (e.g. configurational languages ad their relation to truth-conditional ambiguity)
  • the functional and enunciative approach that hypothesizes a double tripartite organization of information for both sentences and discourses. Initial and Final Detachments (= « left/right » dislocations) and discourse markers will be scrutinized as core processes of oral information strategies, as well as the structure of Question-Answer pairs and its effect on the recycling of emotions into an intentional meaning.
  • the Role and Reference Grammar approach that investigates the role played by Information Structuring in explaining cross-linguistic differences in grammatical systems.


  • M.M.Jocelyne Fernandez-Vest, CNRS-LACITO & TUL, Université Paris 3-Sorbonne Nouvelle, scientific coordinator of the CNRS-TUL project ISTY (« Information Structuring and Typology : Detachment constructions in laguages and discourses »);
  • in collaboration with Robert Van-Valin Jr, coordinator of the research group « Syntax, typology and information structure » (Max Planck Institute, Nijmegen).


  • M.M.Jocelyne Fernandez-Vest at m.m.jocelyne.fernandez-vest AT vjf DOT cnrs DOT fr.


Please check the workshop site for more information.