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Education & Language - Linguistics | Topic and Focus - Cross-Linguistic Perspectives on Meaning and Intonation

Topic and Focus

Cross-Linguistic Perspectives on Meaning and Intonation

Lee, Chungmin, Gordon, Matthew (Eds.)

2007, X, 294 p.

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This book contains a collection of papers exploring the cross-linguistic expression of topic and focus. A diverse set of perspectives from some of the leading scholars in the areas of semantics and intonation are represented in the collection, which is based on papers presented at the Topic and Focus Workshop at the 2001 LSA Summer Institute in Santa Barbara. This book is unique in the breadth of its typological coverage of topic and focus phenomena. Material is presented from nine languages, including several that are severely under-documented from a theoretical perspective.

The expression of topic and focus are integral aspects of linguistic communication that introduce the content of discourse and emphasize its most crucial elements. Topic and focus phenomena are complex and involve both a meaning and a prosodic component. This book is the first collection of papers devoted to the rigorous examination of both semantic and intonational features of topic and focus from a broad typological perspective.

Content Level » Research

Keywords » Intonation - Klang - Language - Pragmatics - communication - discourse - semantic - semantics

Related subjects » Linguistics

Table of contents 

Constraints on Intonational Prominence of Focalized Constituents.- Polish Narrow Focus Constructions.- Intonation and Thematic Roles in Riau Indonesian.- The Intonational Realization of Contrastive Focus in Chickasaw.- Types of Focus in English.- The Prosody of Topic and Focus in Spontaneous English Dialogue.- Perceiving Focus.- The Semantics of Questions and the Focusation of Answers.- Contrastive (Predicate) Topic, Intonation, and Scalar Meanings.- Prosody and Scope Interpretations of the Topic Marker ‘Wa’ in Japanese.- Focus and Taiwanese Unchecked Tones.- Bengali Intonation Revisited: An Optimality Theoretic Analysis in which FOCUS Stress Prominence Drives FOCUS Phrasing.- Information-Structural Semantics for English Intonation.- Discourse Structure and Intonational Phrasing.

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