Title

Focus Placement on Adjacent Words in Yes/No Questions

Document Type

Article

Publication Date

January 2015

Abstract

Semantic theory predicts four different focus configurations for a pair of adjacent words: early, late, broad and double focus. We report on a production study which confirms that speakers make a significant, though non-obligatory, distinction between the four categories. The distinction is observed in yes/no question and so cannot be associated with a specific intonational tune. The results also fail to support theories of focus projection and uniquely syntagmatic models of prominence.

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