Information Structures

From the perspective of experimental pragmatics, it is studied how elements that condition the information structure, as focus operators, affect the course of communication. Focus operators, as elements with a mainly procedural meaning, act upon the information structure to focalize the hearer’s attention and guide them towards the expected inferences. Thereby, they constrain the access to contexts in order to obtain the most relevant contextual effects.

These assumptions have been experimentally tested in a series of experiments carried out so far across different languages (Spanish, English and German), with the aim of finding correlations between determined information structures and their specific cognitive processing. The results of this experimental research have already led to the formulation of a series of cognitive principles on discourse marking, which predict how focus operators affect utterance processing (Loureda, Cruz, Recio & Rudka 2021).

Current Researchers

Funded Projects

Proyecto REDESWritten Discourse and Cognition: Processing and comprehension of verbal and multimodal texts. Cooperation with the Pontificia Universidad Católica de Valparaíso. Funded by the Agencia Nacional de Investigación y Desarrollo (ANID) of Chile (2020-2022).

Discourse, cognition and linguistic markers: empirical studies on word processing using the eye-tracking method. Cooperation with the Pontificia Universidad Católica de Valparaíso. Funded by the Chilean funding institution CONICYT (Comisión Nacional de Investigación Científica y Tecnológica, PII 20150058; 2016-2019).

Information structure of the text in the Romance languages. An experimental and comparative study of the processing of the syntactic position of constituents and focus particles. Funded by the Innovation Fund FRONTIER of the Universität Heidelberg (2013-2015).