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Focus in Generative Grammar

Focus in Generative Grammar

by Michael Rochemont

The topic of this book is the notion of ‘focus’ and its linguistic characterization. The main thesis is that focus has a uniform grammatical identification only as a syntactic element with – in English at least – a certain systematic phonological interpretation and – presumably universally – a range of semantic interpretations. In broad respects, the framework within this investigation is conducted is that of Chomsky & Lasnik (1977) and the subsequent Government and Binding framework. After considering defining the location of prominence in a focused phrase in terms of constituent structure, the author argues that an argument structure approach to the focus phrase/prominence relation is more promising. This is then exemplified in analyses of cleft focus and constructional focus.

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