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Linguistics and Philosophy

, Volume 39, Issue 3, pp 201–245 | Cite as

Alternatives in different dimensions: a case study of focus intervention

  • Haoze LiEmail author
  • Jess H.-K. Law
Original Research
  • 372 Downloads

Abstract

In Beck (Nat Lang Seman 14:1–56, 2006), focus intervention is used as an argument for reducing Hamblin’s (Found Lang 10:41–53, 1973) semantics for questions to Rooth’s (Association with focus. Ph.D. Thesis, 1985) 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.

Keywords

Focus intervention Alternative Semantics Questions Focus 

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© Springer Science+Business Media Dordrecht 2016

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of LinguisticsNew York UniversityNew YorkUSA
  2. 2.Department of Linguistics, RutgersThe State University of New JerseyNew BrunswickUSA

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