The study of the interaction between syntax and information structure has
attracted a great deal of attention since the publication of foundational
works on this subject such as Enric Vallduví's (1992) "The Informational
Component" and Knud Lambrecht's (1994) "Information Structure and Sentence
Form". The book inserts itself in this contemporary interest by providing a
collection of articles on different aspects of the syntax-pragmatics
interface in the indigenous languages of The Americas.
The first chapter provides a brief introduction of the some of the basic
descriptive issues addressed in them, and of some of the theoretical tools
that have been developed to analyze them. The reader finds articles that
focus mostly on empirical issues, while others are mostly oriented to
theoretical issues. Diverse theoretical approaches are addressed, including
Minimalism, Optimality-theoretic syntax, and Meaning-Text Theory.
The volume includes articles on the following topics: the grammatical means
to encode pragmatic notions in Tariana (A. Aikhenvald); the relation
between clause structure and information structure in Lushootseed (D.
Beck); the split distribution of null subjects in Shipibo (J. Camacho and
J. Elías-Ulloa); the syntactic structure of left-peripheral
discourse-related functions in Kuikuro (B. Franchetto and M. Santos), an
agglutinative and head final language; word order and focus patterns in
Yaqui (L. Guerrero and V. Belloro); SVO and topicalization in Yucatec Maya
(R. Gutiérrez-Bravo and J. Monforte); the structure of the left-periphery
in Karaja (Maia) and the interaction between the wh-words and polarity
sensitivity in Southern Quechua (L. Sánchez).