Focus (syntax)

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Focus is an element or phrase which contains new information is put in focus. This can be done phonologically by assigning focal stress (cf. I saw JOHN), and/or syntactically by preposing (cf. John, I saw) and scrambling (cf. ik gun zoietsi niemand ti 'I don't wish that upon anyone'). The focused phrase is interpreted at LF in a way similar to the interpretation of quantifiers and wh-phrases.


Utrecht Lexicon of Linguistics


  • Chomsky, N. 1981. Lectures on Government and Binding, Foris, Dordrecht.