Indexical demonstratives and identificational focus in Hungarian

Enikő Tóth, Péter Csatár

Abstract


This paper presents the results of an experiment regarding the use of Hungarian indexical demonstratives where it is shown that the use of indexicals depends on the nature of the context. More specifically, the use of indexical demonstratives is explored in neutral contexts and in a subtype of contrastive contexts, where contrastiveness is indicated by Hungarian identificational focus. On the one hand, the results reinforce our previous findings that distance is a crucial factor in neutral contexts. On the other hand, it is revealed that utterances with distal demonstratives in identificational focus receive higher ratings on a Likert-scale than utterances with distal demonstratives in a neutral (non-focus) position. These results provide evidence in favour of the contrastive nature of identificational focus in Hungarian, at least under the condition that identificational focus is explicitly marked by moving the preverb to a postverbal position.

Keywords


experimental pragmatics, identificational focus, indexical demonstratives

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DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.4312/linguistica.56.1.281-291

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Copyright (c) 2016 Enikő Tóth, Péter Csatár

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Ljubljana University Press, Faculty of Arts
(Znanstvena založba Filozofske fakultete Univerze v Ljubljani) 

Print ISSN: 0024-3922
Online ISSN: 2350-420X