Volume 40, Issue 2
  • ISSN 0378-4177
  • E-ISSN: 1569-9978
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Many tests have been used in eliciting focus constructions and determining what type of focus a certain linguistic strategy expresses. This paper provides an overview of the various diagnostics for focus, indicating how they show the size of the focused constituent and what semantic-pragmatic type of focus is expressed. These types range from simple pragmatic focus to semantically more complex focus, signalling exclusivity or exhaustivity either as an inherent semantic part of the focus, or merely an implicature. The discussion of these diagnostics brings to light how some diagnostics are flawed, and whether the linguistic strategy tested is actually a dedicated strategy for focus at all.


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  • Article Type: Research Article
Keyword(s): elicitation; exhaustivity; focus; semantics/pragmatics interface
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