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Prosody of Focus in a Language with a Fixed Focus Position: Evidence from Georgian
Lena Borise
89-96 (complete paper or proceedings contents)

Abstract

This paper argues that Georgian, a language with a fixed structural position reserved for the focused element (immediately preverbal), also uses prosody to signal focus. Specifically, data from a preliminary study reported here shows that various types of foci - wh-questions (WHQ), yes-no questions (YNQ), and contrastive contexts - bear the same prosodic marker of focus: the phrase accent L, rigidly aligned with the penultimate syllable of the predicate. The advantage of the approach advocated here is that it provides a unified account for the prosodic realization of different types of focus in Georgian. The double-marking of the same feature in syntax and prosody raises questions as to why language does not rely on just one of these strategies.

Published in

Proceedings of the 34th West Coast Conference on Formal Linguistics
edited by Aaron Kaplan, Abby Kaplan, Miranda K. McCarvel, and Edward J. Rubin
Table of contents
Printed edition: $410.00