Núria Barrios Jurado
The syntax-discourse interface: A comparative study of Catalan and Spanish
The University of Manchester
Professor Delia Bentley
Doctor Julio Villa-Garcia
My PhD investigates the syntax and information structure interface in Catalan and Spanish, two closely related Romance languages. In the Romance languages, different word order configurations may constraint the information partition of a sentence, i.e. limit the scope of the focus or non-presupposed information. Catalan is more restrictive than Spanish when it comes to allowing different focus structure interpretations with non-canonical word order configurations. In particular, I am interested in studying sentence-focus constructions in VS order, that is, a sentence that is felicitous when uttered in an ‘out-of-the-blue’ situation and where the subject appears postverbally. I will collect corpus and experimental data from native speakers of Catalan and Spanish in order to investigate the interaction of syntax and information structure in these languages. In comparing both languages, I hope to assess to what extent they are distinct in sentence-focus VS structures.