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Encoding information structure in Yucatec Maya : on the Interplay of prosody and syntax

By Frank Kügler, Stavros Skopeteas and Elisabeth Verhoeven


The aim of this paper is to outline the means for encoding information structure in Yucatec Maya. Yucatec Maya is a tone language, displaying a three-fold opposition in the tonal realization of syllables. From the morpho-syntactic point of view, the grammar of Yucatec Maya contains morphological (topic affixes, morphological marking of out-of-focus predicates) and syntactic (designated positions) means to uniquely specify syntactic constructions for their information structure. After a descriptive overview of these phenomena, we present experimental evidence which reveals the impact of the nonavailability of prosodic alternatives on the choice of syntactic constructions in language production

Topics: ddc:400
Year: 2008
OAI identifier:

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