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Information StructureTheoretical, Typological, and Experimental Perspectives$
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Malte Zimmermann and Caroline Féry

Print publication date: 2009

Print ISBN-13: 9780199570959

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: February 2010

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780199570959.001.0001

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Second occurrence focus and Relativized Stress F

Second occurrence focus and Relativized Stress F

Chapter:
(p.15) 2 Second occurrence focus and Relativized Stress F
Source:
Information Structure
Author(s):

Mats Rooth

Publisher:
Oxford University Press
DOI:10.1093/acprof:oso/9780199570959.003.0002

This chapter identifies a tight relation between information structure prominence, in terms of focus, and prosodic prominence, in terms of accent. This is done by way of a detailed analysis of second occurrence focus (SOF), a phenomenon that has drawn the attention of semanticists and phonologists only in recent years. There are parallels between the semantics and phonology which can be captured by means of two generalizations. The first one is Stress F, which posits that a pitch accent must be placed somewhere in the prosodic domain of the focus constituent. The second one, called Relativized Stress F, establishes a hierarchy between two bound foci with overlapping or embedding domains. The focus with higher semantic scope is prosodically more prominent than the focus with lower scope. The effects of both constraints can be captured in a strictly local fashion by the introduction of operators that operate as modifiers on semantic combination functions, such as Functional Application. These modifiers pass the information of semantic and prosodic prominence up the syntactic tree. Thus, the chapter, despite its strong semantic bias, relates the semantic interpretation of focus to the prosody, mediated by the syntax.

Keywords:   information structure prominence, prosodic prominence, second occurrence focus, semantics, Stress F, Relativized Stress F

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