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Focus Projection in Nɬheʔkepmxcin (Thompson River Salish)
Karsten A. Koch
348-356 (complete paper or proceedings contents)


Current theories of focus have in common the idea that focus is marked by the dominant stress in the clause. Though it is a stress language, Thompson River Salish marks narrow focus structurally, using clefts, and not with primary stress. Moreover, clefted focus constituents are not moved to a Focus Projection (Kroeber 1997, 1999). While clefted focus constituents are at the left edge of the clause, the main stress is at the right edge. Clefted focii do not bear additional pitch accent when compared to non-clefted arguments. This structural focus may still be prosodically motivated, since clefted foci align with the left edge of the intonational phrase in Thompson Salish; focus in English aligns with prosodic heads. However, Selkirk's (1995) focus projection rules fail to account for Thompson Salish, and are abandoned (Schwarzschild 1999).

Published in

Proceedings of the 26th West Coast Conference on Formal Linguistics
edited by Charles B. Chang and Hannah J. Haynie
Table of contents
Printed edition: $375.00