Focus on what's not at issue: Gestures, presuppositions, appositives under contrastive focus
Maria Esipova
April 2018

This paper is an attempt to systematically investigate how contrastive focus interacts with various types of not-at-issue content (co-speech and post-speech gestures, lexical presuppositions, and appositives). I look, in particular, at when focus forces at-issue interpretations of typically not-at-issue content, when it doesn’t, and when such at-issue interpretations are impossible even to satisfy focus-related requirements. I conclude that the main factors affecting how a given type of content aligns along these dimensions are its prosodic (in)dependence and level of attachment in the syntax. The two factors also interact in a non-trivial way, in particular, for gestures, which I use as a basis for an analysis of gestures that doesn’t assume that their temporal alignment directly determines their semantics (contra Ebert and Ebert 2014, Ebert 2017, Schlenker 2017), but instead relies on syntax/semantics and syntax/prosody interaction. This paper supersedes this manuscript:
Format: [ pdf ]
Reference: lingbuzz/003892
(please use that when you cite this article)
Published in: Proceedings of Sinn und Bedeutung 22 (preprint)
keywords: focus, not-at-issue content, gestures, presuppositions, appositives, semantics
previous versions: v1 [February 2018]
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