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Natural Language Semantics

, Volume 1, Issue 1, pp 75–116 | Cite as

A theory of focus interpretation

  • Mats Rooth
Article

Abstract

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 impossible. Furthermore, while focus has a uniform import, the sources of meaning differences in association with focus are various.

Keywords

Meaning Difference Strong Version Alternative Semantic Pragmatic Process Focus Interpretation 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.

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Copyright information

© Kluwer Academic Publishers 1992

Authors and Affiliations

  • Mats Rooth
    • 1
  1. 1.Institut für maschinelle SprachverarbeitungUniversität StuttgartStuttgart 1Germany

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