Sense and Sensitivity: How Focus Determines Meaning

Blackwell (2008)
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Abstract

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 that the entire existing literature (reviewed in detail) has missed crucial generalizations, and that the focus sensitivity of these expressions must be understood in terms of their meaning and discourse function

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