Surface Structure, Intonation, and “Focus”

  • Mark Steedman
Part of the ESPRIT Basic Research Series book series (ESPRIT BASIC)


The paper briefly reviews a theory of intonational prosody and its relation to syntax, and to certain oppositions of discourse meaning that have variously been called “topic and comment”, “theme and rheme”, “given and new”, or “presupposition and focus.” The theory, which is based on Combinatory Categorial Grammar, is presented in full elsewhere. The present paper examines its implications for the semantics of “focus”.


Functional Composition Categorial Grammar Pitch Accent Phrase Boundary Prosodic Phrase 
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© ECSC - EEC - EAEC, Brussels - Luxembourg 1991

Authors and Affiliations

  • Mark Steedman
    • 1
  1. 1.Department of Computer and Information ScienceUniversity of PennsylvaniaUSA

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