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Sense and Sensitivity

De
328 pages
Sense and Sensitivity advances a novel research proposal in the nascent field of formal pragmatics, exploring in detail the semantics and pragmatics of focus in natural language discourse. The authors develop a new account of focus sensitivity, and show that what has hitherto been regarded as a uniform phenomenon in fact results from three different mechanisms. The book
  • Makes a major contribution to ongoing research in the area of focus sensitivity – a field exploring interactions between sound and meaning, specifically the dependency some words have on the effects of focus, such as "she only LIKES me" (i.e. nothing deeper) compared to "she only likes ME" (i.e. nobody else)
  • Discusses the features of the QFC theory (Quasi association, Free association, and Conventional association), a new account of focus implying a tripartite typology of focus-sensitive expressions
  • Presents novel cross-linguistic data on focus and focus sensitivity that will be relevant across a range of linguistic sub-fields: semantics and pragmatics, syntax, and intonational phonology
  • Concludes with a case study of exclusives (like “only”), arguing that the entire existing literature has missed crucial generalizations, and for the first time explaining the focus sensitivity of these expressions in terms of their meaning and discourse function
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List of Figures Preface
1 Introduction
2
Contents
Intonation and Meaning 2.1 Introduction 2.2 Focus 2.3 Intonational Phonology 2.4 Focus Projection 2.5 Questions and Focus 2.6 The Interpretation of Focus 2.7 Structuring Discourse with Questions 2.8 The Quasi/Free/Conventional (QFC) Model 2.9 Summary
3 Three Degrees of Association: Quasi, Free, and Conventional 3.1 Introduction 3.2 The First Degree: QuasiAssociation 3.3 The Second Degree: Free Association 3.4 The Third Degree: Conventional Association 3.5 Summary
4 Compositional Analysis of Focus 4.1 Introduction 4.2 Compositional Alternative Semantics 4.3 Structured Meanings 4.4 Focus with Events 4.5 Relating the Frameworks
x xi
1
7 7 7 10 12 25 28 33 40 43
44 44 44 52 68 78
80 80 81 84 87 91
viii
5
6
7
8
4.6 4.7
CONTENTS
The President, the Boy Scouts, and a Trip to Tanglewood Summary
Pragmatic Explanations of Focus
5.1 5.2 5.3 5.4 5.5 5.6
Introduction Accentless Focus Association with Presupposition Roberts’ Account of Focus Sensitivity A Presuppositional Account of Focus Sensitivity Summary
Soft Focus: Association with Reduced Material 6.1 Introduction 6.2 Second Occurrence Focus: Background 6.3 Second Occurrence Focus: Experiments 6.4 Leaners: a Contrast 6.5 Leaners: an Eventsbased Analysis 6.6 Summary
Lacking Focus: Extraction and Ellipsis
7.1 7.2 7.3 7.4 7.5 7.6 7.7 7.8 7.9
Introduction Extraction Crosslinguistic Evidence on Extraction Analyzing the Extraction Data An Extraction Puzzle Ellipsis Analyzing the Ellipsis Data An Ellipsis Puzzle Summary
Monotonicity and Presupposition 8.1 Introduction 8.2 Background on Monotonicity, NPIs, and PPIs 8.3 Polarity Item Licensing byonly 8.4 Polarity Item Licensing byalways 8.5 Monotonicity Inferences 8.6 A Formal Account of PI Licensing 8.7 Restrictions on PI Licensing byonly 8.8 Association with Presupposition 8.9 What DoesalwaysAssociate With? 8.10 Summary
95 115
117 117 119 121 123 130 140
142 142 143 145 149 154 158
160 160 161 166 169 174 176 178 180 181
182 182 182 184 190 192 197 200 204 208 211
9
10
11
Exclusives: Facts and History
9.1 9.2 9.3 9.4 9.5 9.6 9.7 9.8 9.9 9.10
CONTENTS
Introduction Positive and Negative Parts of Exclusive Meanings The Prejacent Presupposition Theory The Existential Presupposition Theory The Implicational Presupposition Theory Implicatures for Unembedded Exclusives Denial Isn’t Just a River in Egypt The Arroyo Tequila Test Is the Prejacent Entailed? Summary
Exclusives: a Discourse Account
10.1 10.2 10.3 10.4 10.5 10.6 10.7 10.8 10.9 10.10
Introduction The Discourse Function of Exclusives Examples of Scales Formal Analysis Unembedded Exclusives Negated Exclusives and Other Embeddings Association with Focus NPI Licensing Nonassociation with Presupposition Summary
Conclusion 11.1 The Story so Far 11.2 What Isn’t (Conventionally) Focus Sensitive? 11.3 Generalizations from the QFC Model 11.4 Closing Remarks
Bibliography Index
ix
212 212 214 215 218 223 225 233 238 244 246
248 248 249 254 260 264 267 272 276 277 278
280 280 282 283 285
287 301