Focus, Uniqueness and Soft Presupposition Triggers

  • Andreas Walker
Part of the Lecture Notes in Computer Science book series (LNCS, volume 7218)


Von Heusinger (2007) shows that the definite article’s uniqueness presupposition causes problems in a standard account of focus alternatives. He solves this problem by proposing a new lexical entry for the definite article, a solution adopted by Riester and Kamp (2010). This paper shows that the observed behavior is not limited to the definite article, making such a solution undesirable. Our argument is based on two observations: (1) The definite article is a soft presupposition trigger with respect to uniqueness and (2) soft presupposition triggers have a special behavior in focus alternatives.


Standard Account Lexical Entry Definite Article Correct Reading Alternative Semantic 
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

© Springer-Verlag Berlin Heidelberg 2012

Authors and Affiliations

  • Andreas Walker
    • 1
  1. 1.University of KonstanzGermany

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