Discontinuous foci and unalternative semantics

Daniel Büring


Discontinuous foci – cases in which the focus as expected by semantic or pragmatic considerations is not a single constituent within the phrase marker – are not commonly discussed in the formal literature on focussing. This paper proposes to use Unalternative Semantics to analyze such foci. Unalternative Semantics is a novel framework for calculating focus alternatives from metrically annotated trees (instead of trees with Fmakers); this format naturally lends itself to the modelling of discontinuous foci. The paper compares this approach to other, alternative options involving F-markers and argues in favor of the F-less treatment.


focus, discontinuous focus, alternative semantics, deaccenting, givenness

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DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.4312/linguistica.56.1.67-82


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Copyright (c) 2016 Daniel Büring

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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