Pragmatic functions and the biological codes

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I argue in this paper that the intonational marking of information structure is mainly based on iconic principles relying on the effects of the <i>frequency code</i> (Ohala 1983; Gussenhoven 2002) and the <i>effort code </i>(Gussenhoven 2002). It will be shown that different information structures can be disambiguated, if, in addition to prominence relations, tonal properties are taken into account. Following Lambrecht (1994), I argue for a distinction between <i>pragmatic relations </i>(<i>topic and rhematic focus</i>)<i>, </i>which are realized by tonal shape (high/rising or low/falling) and<i> pragmatic properties</i> (<i>focus of interest</i>) realized by prominence. Specifically, it is suggested that <i>deaccenting</i> is only a special case of <i>downtoning</i>, which is also employed in EA to mark presupposed material.


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