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date: 23 April 2021

Abstract and Keywords

This chapter aims to shed light on a phenomenon first described as verum focus by Höhle. He characterizes its semantic effect as emphasizing the expression of truth of a proposition. In German, the phenomenon typically appears in the left periphery of main and embedded clauses. Höhle relates it to a linguistic object VERUM occuring in the syntactic/semantic structure of clauses. After presenting several approaches which make crucial use of VERUM, the concept of truth and its linguistic realization in clausal structures is discussed. This leads to a perspective that connects verum focus to the part of the sentence that spells out the intention of the sentence meaning: the sentence mood. This line of reasoning intends to promote the view that verum focus can be derived from the systematic interaction of sentence mood with the regular properties of focus assignment.

Keywords: polarity focus, information structure, sentence mood, sentential force, truth, verum

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