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date: 22 April 2021

Abstract and Keywords

This chapter discusses a grammatically defined sub-class of focus: that on verbal predicates and on functional elements in the extended verbal projection. The phenomena falling under the label of predicate focus are introduced, and it is shown that predicate focus is interpretable on a par with argument or term focus on DPs and PPs. A unified structured-meaning approach that treats focus as the psychological predicate of the clause allows for singling out DP-terms and transitive verbs as categories in need of explicit marking when focused. A cross-linguistic overview of the grammatical strategies for marking predicate focus is provided, focusing on asymmetries in the realization of predicate as opposed to in terms of obligatory marking, grammatical strategy, and complexity. The information-structural and grammatical factors behind such focus asymmetries are discussed with some tentative universals concerning the explicit marking of information-structural categories on verbal predicates.

Keywords: focus asymmetries, structured propositions, alternative semantics, term focus, predicate focus, common ground management, focus operators, TAM-focus, focus realization

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