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date: 28 October 2020

Abstract and Keywords

This chapter examines the phonological correlates of information structural focus in the metrical grid and in the prosodic hierarchy, with emphasis on how they cooperate to express focus in simple cases but seem to conflict in more complex cases. Two Germanic languages, English and Swedish, are compared to highlight the implications of so-called nested foci and Second Occurrence Focus (SOF) with respect to how the metrical grid and the prosodic hierarchy interact in phonology. After providing an overview of metrical grid and prosodic hierarchy, a short description of Swedish intonation is given. The chapter then considers nested foci and SOF. It offers some predictions for Swedish of the constraint STRESSFOCUS, which does not specify what the correlation between metrical grid marks and heads of the prosodic hierarchy should be in the case of focus. It suggests that focus is expressed in a more categorical fashion in Swedish than in English.

Keywords: focus, metrical grid, prosodic hierarchy, English, Swedish, nested foci, Second Occurrence Focus, phonology, intonation, STRESSFOCUS

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