The prosody of focus: non-contrastive, contrastive and verum focus in Slovenian, English and Russian

Andrej Stopar


The article presents an approach to information structure that marks focused or topicalized syntactic constituents with the features [foc] and [top], and assumes that the assignment of these information structure features is reflected in prosody. The experimental study measures the fundamental frequency of various Slovenian sentences to identify the characteristic contours of the non-contrastive, contrastive, and verum focus. The findings are compared to those in studies on English and Russian. The results show that the most relevant prosodic characteristics of such structures are the pitch range, the pitch changes on the focus exponent, and the duration of the focus exponent.


non-contrastive focus, contrastive focus, verum focus, information structure, information structure features, pitch contour, intonation

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Copyright (c) 2017 Andrej Stopar

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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