Vigo International Journal of Applied Linguistics VIAL

Renate Delucchi Danhier and Barbara Mertins (1). Language-specific information structure in German and Spanish route directions: 55:92.


This paper investigates which linguistic resources speakers use to produce understandable and coherent route directions. These resources include how the information ows from one sentence to the next, how the information is mapped onto the topological route and how this information is encoded linguistically in order to be organized into a text. The aim of this paper is to show that syntactical differences between Spanish and German (the marking of subordination and the boundary crossing constraint) have consequences for the way the information is structured in route directions. The analyses are based on a corpus of 124 empirically collected route directions. The results include language-speci c differences regarding information ow and information packaging.

Keywords: route directions, language specifcity, Spanish-German contrast, language relativity, linearization, information structure

(1) TU Dortmund, Germany.

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