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date: 22 April 2021

Abstract and Keywords

Distinguishing between two forms of givenness status, known and salient, this chapter investigates the latter, using deaccenting as a probe into the nature of salience-based givenness. A presuppositional account of salience-based givenness is presented, based on entailment and coreference. Other putative semantic relations claimed to underlie givenness-based deaccenting are shown to be inadequate. The question whether givenness can be reduced to focus is considered, with motivation provided for distinguishing among given, focused, and discourse new. It is seen that the distribution of accenting and deaccenting in English is only partly a function of context, with speaker’s communicative intent playing a critical and unpredictable role.

Keywords: givenness, deaccenting, focus, presupposition, discourse new, communicative intent

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