Under One Roof: Sharing a Form with Focus

Країна: Австрія

Місто: Graz

Тези до: 15.04.2015

Дати: 25.09.15 — 26.09.15

Область наук: Філологічні;

Е-мейл Оргкомітету: gwis@uni-graz.at

Організатори: University of Graz


A great number of formal linguistic means can be used to express the information structural partition between the focus and the background of a sentence. Under closer scrutiny, many of the formal means that are usually interpreted as encoding focus turn out to have other functions as well.

The aim of this workshop is to investigate the polyfunctionality of linguistic means associated with focus. We are especially interested in cases of polyfunctionality that go beyond the well-known cases where the same linguistic form is associated with focus and contrast or exhaustivity. For example, French clefts can serve to narrowly focus the clefted constituent, but also to create cohesion with the preceding context. Another example is particles which encode TAM functions, but also trigger a focus interpretation.

Topics to be addressed include (but are not limited to) the following issues:

- Patterns of polyfunctionality
Which are the additional functions expressed by linguistic means associated with focus? Are these functions part of the semantics of the respective linguistic means or the result of pragmatic inference? Are there recurring patterns of polyfunctionality?

- Polyfunctionality and types of linguistic means
Is there a relationship between different patterns of polyfunctionality and the formal types of linguistic means associated with focus? Are there patterns typically associated with a certain linguistic level to the exclusion of the others (e.g. with prosodic, but not with morphological or syntactic means)?

- Polyfunctionality and the categorial status of focus
In the literature on information structure there is an ongoing debate whether focus is an integral part of grammar or rather belongs to pragmatics. In this regard, the claim that focus is a universal linguistic category has recently been called into question.
-- To what extent can the analysis of polyfunctional patterns contribute to this ongoing debate?
-- Can polyfunctionality be considered as a counter-argument against focus as a (universal) linguistic category?
-- Can, on the other hand, the one-to-one mapping between a linguistic form and a focus interpretation be considered as evidence for focus as a linguistic category in this specific language?

Веб-сторінка конференції: http://sprachwissenschaft.uni-graz.at/de/forschen/gwis-3/