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Contrastive focus

  • The article puts forward a discourse-pragmatic approach to the notoriously evasive phenomena of contrastivity and emphasis. It is argued that occurrences of focus that are treated in terms of ‘contrastive focus’, ‘kontrast’ (Vallduví & Vilkuna 1998) or ‘identificational focus’ (É. Kiss 1998) in the literature should not be analyzed in familiar semantic terms like introduction of alternatives or exhaustivity. Rather, an adequate analysis must take into account discourse-pragmatic notions like hearer expectation or discourse expectability of the focused content in a given discourse situation. The less expected a given content is judged to be for the hearer, relative to the Common Ground, the more likely a speaker is to mark this content by means of special grammatical devices, giving rise to emphasis.

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Author:Malte ZimmermannORCiD
Document Type:Article
Year of Completion:2007
Publishing Institution:Universität Potsdam
Release Date:2008/07/25
Tag:contrastive focus; discourse expectability; emphasis
Organizational units:Humanwissenschaftliche Fakultät / Institut für Linguistik / Allgemeine Sprachwissenschaft
Dewey Decimal Classification:4 Sprache / 40 Sprache / 400 Sprache
Collections:Universität Potsdam / Schriftenreihen / Interdisciplinary studies on information structure : ISIS ; working papers of the SFB 632, ISSN 1866-4725 / ISIS (2007) 06
Licence (German):License LogoKeine Nutzungslizenz vergeben - es gilt das deutsche Urheberrecht
Notes extern:erschienen in:
The Notions of information structure / (eds.) Caroline Féry ... - Potsdam : Univ.-Verl., 2007. - 235 S.(Interdisciplinary studies on information structure ; 6)ISSN 1614-4708ISBN 978-3-939469-88-9
URN: urn:nbn:de:kobv:517-opus-15472
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