Focus and givenness across the grammar

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingConference contribution


This paper takes seriously the idea that a single expression can be simultaneously marked as given and as a focus, and works out some of the consequences of that assumption. I adopt Katz and Selkirk’s (2011) suggestion that givenness is the flip side of newness rather than of focus, and argue that neither Rooth’s semantics of focus nor Schwarzschild’s analysis of givenness is by itself sufficient to account for a range of novel observations. I then show how both analyses can be maintained provided that the syntactic and phonological assumptions about focus/givenness marking and pitch accent assignment are appropriately revised.

Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationNew Frontiers in Artificial Intelligence - JSAI-isAI 2014 Workshops, LENLS, JURISIN, and GABA, Revised Selected Papers
EditorsTsuyoshi Murata, Koji Mineshima, Daisuke Bekki
PublisherSpringer Verlag
Number of pages23
ISBN (Print)9783662481189
Publication statusPublished - 2015
Event6th International Symposium on Artificial Intelligence, JSAI 2014 - Kanagawa, Japan
Duration: 2014 Oct 272014 Oct 28

Publication series

NameLecture Notes in Computer Science (including subseries Lecture Notes in Artificial Intelligence and Lecture Notes in Bioinformatics)
ISSN (Print)0302-9743
ISSN (Electronic)1611-3349


Other6th International Symposium on Artificial Intelligence, JSAI 2014


  • Focus
  • Givenness
  • Newness
  • Pitch accents

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Theoretical Computer Science
  • Computer Science(all)


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