Topless and Salient—Convertibles in the Theory of Focus

In Daniel Altshuler & Jessica Rett (eds.), The Semantics of Plurals, Focus, Degrees, and Times: Essays in Honor of Roger Schwarzschild. Springer Verlag. pp. 137-155 (2019)
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This paper tracks recent developments of focus semantics, emanating from Schwarzschild’s convertible examples. It discusses the theoretical impact of the various variations on these examples. The paper ends up arguing that we need contrastive focusing as a precondition for deaccenting, but that, in turn, we need to give up the idea that focusing is anaphoric. This, in turn, opens up crucial gaps in our coverage of the data, which should be closed by making deaccenting—but not backgrounding in general—subject to: a givenness condition.



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