What's What?

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapterpeer-review


This chapter shows that the source of graded acceptability judgments cannot be purely syntactic. Instead, such data area forecasted by information structure (IS) constraints. The chapter argues that extraction is completely determined by IS constraints, in particular that only focus domains are apparent for purposes of extraction. It concludes that any phenomenon which differs with context among and across speakers cannot have a syntactic account. An account in terms of IS is aided to predict this kind of variation. Thus, a syntactic constraint violation will be ungrammatical, a violation of an IS constraint will allow contextual variation and will thus result in gradience. There will be no weak syntactic constraints, only strong ones. A theory of IS, - f(ocus)-structure theory - geared to interact with syntax, phonology, and semantics, is introduced and viewed as an essential part of grammar.

Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationGradience in Grammar
Subtitle of host publicationGenerative Perspectives
EditorsGisbert Fanselow, Caroline Féry, Matthias Schlesewsky, Ralf Vogel
PublisherOxford University Press
ISBN (Electronic)9780191705861
ISBN (Print)0199274797, 9780199274796
StatePublished - 1 Jan 2010


  • Acceptability judgments
  • F(ocus)-structure theory
  • Gradience
  • Grammar
  • Information structure
  • Phonology
  • Semantics
  • Superiority
  • Syntax

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • General Arts and Humanities


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