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From sentential syntax to syntax of interaction


Information structure
Israeli Hebrew

How to Cite

Ozerov P. From sentential syntax to syntax of interaction: existential constructions in Modern Hebrew. J. of Speech Sci. [Internet]. 2023 Apr. 18 [cited 2023 Sep. 23];12(00):e023001. Available from:


The framework of syntactic analysis developed by Izre'el (2018, 2020) situates the simplest structure found in spoken data - the unipartite clause - at the core of its model. The implementation of this framework for the analysis of existential constructions in Modern Hebrew (Izre'el 2022) demonstrates how the unipartite analysis on presumably sentential structures allows us to remodel and bypass former research question, providing a new perspective and novel answers. This contribution attempts to follow up on this analysis and develop it further in an interactional, dynamic perspective. I propose that the discussed framework would additionally benefit from dispensing with other traditional models, which similarly originate in the bipartite view of sentence structure. Shifting away from categories of Information Structure and from the partitioning of information into topic vs. comment/focus and predicate can advance our understanding of language and discourse, while avoiding the pitfalls of problematic and poorly definable concepts. In this view, interlocutors do not structure their contributions or interpret others’ speech by identifying topics, comments, foci, or predicates. Instead, they navigate through the interactive discourse relying on low-level local communicative instructions which signal attention requirements, relevance, local discourse moves, interactionally structured discourse relations, epistemic management, emotive stance and more. Situating the analysis in the dynamic perspective of online syntax opens the way to a more refined understanding of the data, and further research questions.


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