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  1. How to Have a Metalinguistic Dispute.Poppy Mankowitz - forthcoming - Synthese:1-20.
    There has been recent interest in the idea that speakers who appear to be having a verbal dispute may in fact be engaged in a metalinguistic negotiation: they are communicating information about how they believe an expression should be used. For example, individuals involved in a dispute about whether a racehorse is an athlete might be communicating their diverging views about how ‘athlete’ should be used. While many have argued that metalinguistic negotiation is a pervasive feature of philosophical and everyday (...)
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  2. GIVENness, AVOIDF, and Constraints on the Placement of Focus.Roger Schwarzschild - forthcoming - Natural Language Semantics.
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  3. Hungarian 'Focus Position'and English It-Clefts: The Semantic Underspecification of 'Focus' Readings.Daniel Wedgwood, Gergely Petho & Ronnie Cann - forthcoming - Journal of Semantics.
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  4. Expressions in Focus.Poppy Mankowitz - 2020 - Semantics and Pragmatics 13 (13).
    It is commonly claimed that, when a constituent is the focus of an occurrence of a sentence, certain alternatives to that constituent are relevant to our understanding of the sentence. Normally these are alternatives to the denotation of the focused constituent. However, Krifka (2007) briefly discusses the notion of expression focus, where the alternatives are linguistic items. Yet an adequate account of expression focus has not been given within the literature. This is despite the fact that it holds the potential (...)
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  5. Understanding Focus: Pitch, Placement and Coherence.Julian J. Schlöder & Alex Lascarides - 2020 - Semantics and Pragmatics.
    This paper presents a novel account of focal stress and pitch contour in English dialogue. We argue that one should analyse and treat focus and pitch contour jointly, since (i) some pragmatic interpretations vary with contour (e.g., whether an utterance accepts or rejects; or whether it implicates a positive or negative answer); and (ii) there are utterances with identical prosodic focus that in the same context are infelicitous with one contour, but felicitous with another. We offer an account of two (...)
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  6. A Revised, Gradability-Based Semantics for Even.Yael Greenberg - 2018 - Natural Language Semantics 26 (1):51-83.
    This paper concentrates on giving precise content to the general wisdom on the scalar presupposition of even, according to which the prejacent of even, p, is stronger than its relevant focus alternatives, q. To that end I first examine both familiar challenges for the popular ‘comparative likelihood’ view of the ‘stronger than’ relation, as well as novel challenges, having to do with the context dependency of even and with its sensitivity to standards of comparison. To overcome these challenges and to (...)
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  7. Priscianvs minor: Teoría gramatical per figvram Y técnica compositiva.Marco A. Gutiérrez - 2018 - Argos 41:e0004.
    En el presente artículo damos cuenta pormenorizada de los ejemplos per figuram obtenidos a través de un novedoso método de trabajo plasmado en decotgrel. De esta forma hemos podido sistematizar todos los ‘usos especiales’ documentados en el así llamado Priscianus minor. De esta manera hemos podido encontrar consideraciones que van más allá de lo meramente normativo y que tienen un gran interés tanto para el conocimiento de la lengua en cuestión como para el análisis de la evolución de los conceptos (...)
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  8. Спроба оцінки й контекстуалізації помилок у мові української преси (на прикладі видання «Газета по-українськи»).Michael Moser - 2017 - Language: Classic – Modern – Postmodern 3:235-249.
    У статті досліджено мовні помилки, що трапляються в одній із українських інтернет-газет упродовж одного (випадково вибраного) дня цього (2017) року. Указано на високу частотність помилок, на те, що правильність текстів в українських інтернет-ЗМІ значною мірою залежить від мовного оформлення їх безпосереднього джерела, і на те, що в інтернет-ЗМІ часто трапляються найтиповіші помилки сучасної української мови. Доведено, що багато з цих помилок далі поширюють різними веб-порталами (бо часто просто копіюють) без будь-якого мовного редагування. Наголошено на слушності мовного моніторингу українських інтернет-ЗМІ не (...)
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  9. Dretske on Self-Knowledge and Contrastive Focus: How to Understand Dretske’s Theory, and Why It Matters.Michael Roche & William Roche - 2017 - Erkenntnis 82 (5):975-992.
    Dretske’s theory of self-knowledge is interesting but peculiar and can seem implausible. He denies that we can know by introspection that we have thoughts, feelings, and experiences. But he allows that we can know by introspection what we think, feel, and experience. We consider two puzzles. The first puzzle, PUZZLE 1, is interpretive. Is there a way of understanding Dretske’s theory on which the knowledge affirmed by its positive side is different than the knowledge denied by its negative side? The (...)
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  10. Alternatives in Different Dimensions: A Case Study of Focus Intervention.Haoze Li & Jess H.-K. Law - 2016 - Linguistics and Philosophy 39 (3):201-245.
    In Beck, focus intervention is used as an argument for reducing Hamblin’s semantics for questions to Rooth’s focus semantics. Drawing on novel empirical evidence from Mandarin and English, we argue that this reduction is unwarranted. Maintaining both Hamblin’s original semantics and Rooth’s focus semantics not only allows for a more adequate account for focus intervention in questions, but also correctly predicts that focus intervention is a very general phenomenon caused by interaction of alternatives in different dimensions.
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  11. A Note on Contrast.Roni Katzir - 2013 - Natural Language Semantics 21 (4):333-343.
    The semantics of association with focus and the pragmatic conditions governing the appropriateness of focus in discourse are usually taken to depend on focus alternatives. According to a common view, these alternatives are generated by a permissive process. This permissive view has been challenged by Michael Wagner, who has noted that certain alternatives are systematically excluded from consideration. Wagner describes a more restrictive view, on which only contrastive alternatives are relevant for association with focus and for the appropriateness of focus (...)
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  12. Focus and Uninformativity in Yucatec Maya Questions.Scott AnderBois - 2012 - Natural Language Semantics 20 (4):349-390.
    Crosslinguistically, questions frequently make crucial use of morphosyntactic elements which also occur outside of questions. Chief among these are focus, disjunctions, and wh-words with indefinite semantics. This paper provides a compositional account of the semantics of wh-, alternative, and polar questions in Yucatec Maya (YM), which are composed primarily of these elements. Key to the account is a theory of disjunctions and indefinites (extending work by others) which recognizes the inherently inquisitive nature of these elements. While disjunctions and indefinites are (...)
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  13. English Rise-Fall-Rise: A Study in the Semantics and Pragmatics of Intonation. [REVIEW]Noah Constant - 2012 - Linguistics and Philosophy 35 (5):407-442.
    This paper provides a semantic analysis of English rise-fall-rise (RFR) intonation as a focus quantifier over assertable alternative propositions. I locate RFR meaning in the conventional implicature dimension, and propose that its effect is calculated late within a dynamic model. With a minimum of machinery, this account captures disambiguation and scalar effects, as well as interactions with other focus operators like ‘only’ and clefts. Double focus data further support the analysis, and lead to a rejection of Ward and Hirschberg’s (Language (...)
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  14. Clefts and Their Relatives.Matthew Reeve - 2012 - John Benjamins.
    Introduction -- The syntax of English clefts -- Clefts and the licensing of relative clauses -- Clefts in Slavonic languages -- The syntax of specificational sentences -- Conclusion.
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  15. The Role of Focus, Semantic Overlap and Discourse Function in Noun-Phrase Anaphor Resolution.H. W. Cowles & A. Garnham - 2011 - In Edward Gibson & Neal J. Pearlmutter (eds.), The Processing and Acquisition of Reference. MIT Press.
    One area of language research that has received a great deal of attention, both theoretical and empirical, is the use of anaphoric expressions. Such expressions can be thought of as serving two functions: the primary function is to refer back to a referent from previous discourse, and the secondary, but no less important, function is to help provide discourse coherence and structure. Third person pronouns such as he or she are anaphoric expressions par excellence, but fuller anaphoric expressions, including demonstrative (...)
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  16. On the Characterization of Alternatives.Danny Fox & Roni Katzir - 2011 - Natural Language Semantics 19 (1):87-107.
    We present an argument for revising the theory of alternatives for Scalar Implicatures and for Association with Focus. We argue that in both cases the alternatives are determined in the same way, as a contextual restriction of the focus value of the sentence, which, in turn, is defined in structure-sensitive terms. We provide evidence that contextual restriction is subject to a constraint that prevents it from discriminating between alternatives when they stand in a particular logical relationship with the assertion or (...)
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  17. Without 'Focus'.Nirit Kadmon & Aldo Sevi - 2011 - The Baltic International Yearbook of Cognition, Logic and Communication 6:18.
    It is widely accepted that a notion of 'focus', more or less as conceived of in Jackendoff , must be incorporated into our theory of grammar, as a means of accounting for certain observed correlations between prosodic facts and semantic/pragmatic facts. In this paper, we put forth the somewhat radical idea that the time has come to give up this customary view, and eliminate 'focus' from our theory of grammar. We argue that such a move is both economical and fruitful.Research (...)
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  18. Without 'Focus'.Nirit Kadmon & Aldo Sevi - 2010 - The Baltic International Yearbook of Cognition, Logic and Communication 6 (1).
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  19. Ncsbn Focus.Nancy Spector & Marcy Echternacht - 2010 - Jona's Healthcare Law, Ethics, and Regulation 12 (1):12-14.
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  20. Structurally Defined Alternatives and Lexicalizations of XOR.Eric Swanson - 2010 - Linguistics and Philosophy 33 (1):31-36.
    In his recent paper on the symmetry problem Roni Katzir argues that the only relevant factor for the calculation of any Quantity implicature is syntactic structure. I first refute Katzir’s thesis with three examples that show that structural complexity is irrelevant to the calculation of some Quantity implicatures. I then argue that it is inadvisable to assume—as Katzir and others do—that exactly one factor is relevant to the calculation of any Quantity implicature.
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  21. Ncsbn Focus.Nancy Spector - 2009 - Jona's Healthcare Law, Ethics, and Regulation 11 (4):116-119.
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  22. Sense and Sensitivity: How Focus Determines Meaning.David I. Beaver - 2008 - Blackwell.
    Sense and Sensitivity explores the semantics and pragmatics of focus in natural language discourse, advancing a new account of focus sensitivity which posits a three-way distinction between different effects of focus. Makes a valuable contribution to the ongoing research in the field of focus sensitivity Discusses the features of QFC, an original theory of focus implying a new typology of focus-sensitive expressions Presents novel cross-linguistic data on focus and focus sensitivity Concludes with a case study of exclusives (like “only”), arguing (...)
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  23. Descriptions and Pressupositions: Strawson Vs. Russell.Murali Ramachandran - 2008 - South African Journal of Philosophy 27 (3):242-257.
    A Russellian theory of (definite) descriptions takes an utterance of the form ‘The F is G' to express a purely general proposition that affirms the existence of a (contextually) unique F: there is exactly one F [which is C] and it is G. Strawson, by contrast, takes the utterer to presuppose in some sense that there is exactly one salient F, but this is not part of what is asserted; rather, when the presupposition is not met the utterance simply fails (...)
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  24. Notions of Focus Anaphoricity.Mats Rooth - 2008 - Acta Linguistica Hungarica 55 (3-4):277--285.
    This article reviews some of the theoretical notions and empirical phenomena which figure in current formal-semantic theories of focus. It also develops the connection between “alternative semantics” and “givenness” accounts of focus interpretation.
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  25. Linguistic and Cognitive Prominence in Anaphor Resolution: Topic, Contrastive Focus and Pronouns.H. Wind Cowles, Matthew Walenski & Robert Kluender - 2007 - Topoi 26 (1):3-18.
    This paper examines the role that linguistic and cognitive prominence play in the resolution of anaphor–antecedent relationships. In two experiments, we found that pronouns are immediately sensitive to the cognitive prominence of potential antecedents when other antecedent selection cues are uninformative. In experiment 1, results suggest that despite their theoretical dissimilarities, topic and contrastive focus both serve to enhance cognitive prominence. Results from experiment 2 suggest that the contrastive prosody appropriate for focus constructions may also play an important role in (...)
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  26. On the Meaning of Some Focus-Sensitive Particles.Michela Ippolito - 2007 - Natural Language Semantics 15 (1):1-34.
    In this paper, I argue that the aspectual, marginality, and concessive uses of the grading particles still and already can be reduced to the fol lowing three classes of focus sensitive-grading particles: additive particles like too, scalar particles like even, and exclusive particles like only. The meaning differences among the occurrences of still (and already) are mostly reduced to the differences among these three classes of grading particles. In turn, these differences are shown to correlate with what type of object (...)
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  27. Intervention Effects Follow From Focus Interpretation.Sigrid Beck - 2006 - Natural Language Semantics 14 (1):1-56.
    The paper provides a semantic analysis of intervention effects in wh-questions. The interpretation component of the grammar derives uninterpretability, hence ungrammaticality, of the intervention data. In the system of compositional interpretation that I suggest, wh-phrases play the same role as focused phrases, introducing alternatives into the computation. Unlike focus, wh-phrases make no ordinary semantic contribution. An intervention effect occurs whenever a focus-sensitive operator other than the question operator tries to evaluate a constituent containing a wh-phrase. It is argued that this (...)
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  28. Focus Interpretation in Thetic Statements: Alternative Semantics and Optimality Theory Pragmatics. [REVIEW]Kjell Johan Sæbø - 2006 - Journal of Logic, Language and Information 16 (1):15-33.
    Broad focus (or informational integration or nonautonomy) is lexically and contextually constrained, but these constraints are not well understood. On a standard theory of focus interpretation, the presupposition of a broad focus is verified whenever those of two narrow foci are. I argue that to account for cases where two narrow foci are preferred, it is necessary to assume that broad focus competes with two narrow foci and implicates the opposite of what they presuppose. Central constraints on thetic statements are (...)
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  29. Case Focus.LaTonia Denise Wright - 2006 - Jona's Healthcare Law, Ethics, and Regulation 8 (3):69-71.
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  30. Focus on Again.Sigrid Beck - 2005 - Linguistics and Philosophy 29 (3):277 - 314.
    This paper examines the effect that focus has on repetitive versus restitutive again. It is argued that a pragmatic explanation of the effect is the right strategy. The explanation builds largely on a standard focus semantics. To this we add an anaphoric analysis of again’s presupposition and a detailed analysis of the alternatives triggered when focus falls on again.
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  31. Focus: A Case Study on the Semantics–Pragmatics Boundary.Michael Glanzberg - 2005 - In Zoltan Gendler Szabo (ed.), Semantics Versus Pragmatics. Oxford University Press. pp. 72--110.
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  32. Context and Focus Projection. A Compositional, Intonation-Based Account of Focus Interpretation.Arndt Riester - 2005 - In Emar Maier, Corien Bary & Janneke Huitink (eds.), Proceedings of Sub9. pp. 299--313.
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  33. Focus Below the Word Level.Ron Artstein - 2004 - Natural Language Semantics 12 (1):1-22.
    Intonational focus can be observed on parts of words that appear to lack intrinsic meaning, and triggers alternatives that are similar in form. In order to provide a unified treatment of focus above and below the word level (they do, after all, behave the same in most respects), I develop a theory of denotations for arbitrary word parts in which focused word parts denote their own sound and the unfocused parts are functions from sounds to word meanings. This allows focus (...)
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  34. Interpreting Focus: Presupposed or Expressive Meanings? A Comment on Geurts and Van der Sandt.Angelika Kratzer - 2004 - Theoretical Linguistics 30:123--136.
    The BPR assumes that we already know how sentences are partitioned into focused and backgrounded material, and this is quite legitimate, given the literature on the topic , von Stechow ). If the BPR was true, no more would have to be said about the meaning of focus. The behavior of whatever inferences are generated by backgrounding could be taken care of by theories dealing with the projection of presuppositions of the familiar kind, the presuppositions of definite descriptions, clefts, or (...)
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  35. Always and Only: Why Not All Focus-Sensitive Operators Are Alike. [REVIEW]David Beaver & Brady Clark - 2003 - Natural Language Semantics 11 (4):323-362.
    We discuss focus sensitivity in English, the phenomenon whereby interpretation of some expressions is affected by placement of intonational focus. We concentrate in particular on the interpretation of always and only, both of which are interpreted as universal quantifiers, and both of which are focus sensitive. Using both naturally occurring and constructed data we explore the interaction of these operators with negative polarity items, with presupposition, with prosodically reduced elements, and with syntactic extraction. On the basis of this data we (...)
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  36. On D-Trees, Beans, and B-Accents.Daniel Büring - 2003 - Linguistics and Philosophy 26 (5):511 - 545.
    This paper presents a comprehensive pragmatic theory of contrastive topic and its relation to focus in English. In discussing various constructions involving contrastive topics, it argues that they make reference to complex, hierarchical aspects of discourse structure. In this, it follows and spells out a proposal sketched in Roberts (1996, p. 121ff),using the formal tools found in Büring (1994,1997b). It improves on existing accounts in the accuracy with which it predicts the non-occurrence of the accent patterns associated with focus and (...)
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  37. Topic, Focus, and the Interpretation of Bare Plurals.Ariel Cohen & Nomi Erteschik-Shir - 2002 - Natural Language Semantics 10 (2):125-165.
    In this paper we show that focus structure determines the interpretation of bare plurals in English: topic bare plurals are interpreted generically, focused bare plurals are interpreted existentially. When bare plurals are topics they must be specific, i.e. they refer to kinds. After type-shifting they introduce variables which can be bound by the generic quantifier, yielding characterizing generics. Existentially interpreted bare plurals are not variables, but denote properties that are incorporated into the predicate.The type of predicate determines the interpretation of (...)
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  38. Superlative Expressions, Context, and Focus.Yael Sharvit & Penka Stateva - 2002 - Linguistics and Philosophy 25 (4):453-504.
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  39. Davldson Ln Focus.de Caro Mar1o - 1999 - In Mario De Caro (ed.), Interpretations and Causes: New Perspectives on Donald Davidson's Philosophy. Kluwer Academic Publishers. pp. 1.
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  40. Focus and Negative Polarity in Hindi.Utpal Lahiri - 1998 - Natural Language Semantics 6 (1):57-123.
    This paper presents an analysis of negative polarity items (NPIs) in Hindi. It is noted that NPIs in this language are composed of a (weak) indefinite plus a particle bhii meaning ‘even’. It is argued that the compositional semantics of this combination explains their behavior as NPIs as well as their behavior as free choice (FC) items. I assume that weak Hindi indefinites like ek and koi are to be viewed as a predicate that I call one, a predicate that (...)
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  41. Focus and Weak Noun Phrases.Elena Herburger - 1997 - Natural Language Semantics 5 (1):53-78.
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  42. Focus and Higher Order Unification.Stephen Pulman - 1997 - Linguistics and Philosophy 20.
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  43. Higher Order Unification and the Interpretation of Focus.Stephen G. Pulman - 1997 - Linguistics and Philosophy 20 (1):73-115.
    Higher order unification is a way of combining information (or equivalently, solving equations) expressed as terms of a typed higher order logic. A suitably restricted form of the notion has been used as a simple and perspicuous basis for the resolution of the meaning of elliptical expressions and for the interpretation of some non-compositional types of comparative construction also involving ellipsis. This paper explores another area of application for this concept in the interpretation of sentences containing intonationally marked focus, or (...)
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  44. Focus: 271-297.M. Rooth - 1996 - In Shalom Lappin (ed.), The Handbook of Contemporary Semantic Theory. Blackwell Reference. pp. 271-297.
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  45. Focus and Natural Language Processing.Peter Bosch & Rob van der Sandt (eds.) - 1995 - Ibm Deutschland.
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  46. Topic-Focus Articulation as Generalized Quantification.Jaroslav Peregrin - 1995 - In Peter Bosch & Rob van der Sandt (eds.), Focus and Natural Language Processing. Ibm Deutschland. pp. 49--57.
    Recent results of Partee, Rooth, Krifka and other formal semanticians confirm that topic-focus articulation (TFA) of sentence is relevant for its semantics. The essential import of TFA, which is more apparent in case of a language with relatively free word order such as Czech than in case of English, has been traditionally intensively studied by Czech linguists. In this paper we would like to indicate the possibility of the account for TFA in terms of the theory of generalized quantifiers, drawing (...)
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  47. Only: Association with Focus in Event Semantics. [REVIEW]Andrea Bonomi & Paolo Casalegno - 1993 - Natural Language Semantics 2 (1):1-45.
    We propose an analysis ofonly in terms of event semantics. This approach allows a unified treatment of a wide range of cases in whichonly is associated with focused expressions of different categories. Section 1 is devoted to a preliminary discussion of some problems that a good analysis ofonly should solve. In section 2 we concentrate on sentences in which the focused expression is a NP. In section 3 we show how our analysis can be extended to other categories. Finally, section (...)
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  48. Semantic Emphasis in Causal Sentences.Cindy D. Stern - 1993 - Synthese 95 (3):379 - 418.
    A shift in emphasis can change the truth-value of a singular causal sentence. This poses a challenge to the view that singular sentences predicate a relation. I argue that emphasized causal sentences conjoin predication of a causal relation between events with predication of a relation of causal relevance between states of affairs (or perhaps facts). This is superior to the treatments of such sentences offered by Achinstein, Dretske, Kim, Sanford, Bennett, and Levin. My proposal affords clarity regarding logical structure, at (...)
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  49. A Theory of Focus Interpretation.Mats Rooth - 1992 - Natural Language Semantics 1 (1):75-116.
    According to the alternative semantics for focus, the semantic reflec of intonational focus is a second semantic value, which in the case of a sentence is a set of propositions. We examine a range of semantic and pragmatic applications of the theory, and extract a unitary principle specifying how the focus semantic value interacts with semantic and pragmatic processes. A strong version of the theory has the effect of making lexical or construction-specific stipulation of a focus-related effect in association-with-focus constructions (...)
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  50. Redundant Answers and Topic-Focus Articulation.Pavel Materna, Eva Hajičová & Petr Sgall - 1987 - Linguistics and Philosophy 10 (1):101 - 113.
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