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Authors: Onea, Edgar
Title: Exhaustiveness of Hungarian focus : experimental evidence from Hungarian and German
Issue Date: 2009 Konferenzbeitrag Riester, Arndt ; Onea, Edgar (eds.): Focus at the syntax-semantics interface. Stuttgart : University, 2009 (SinSpeC 3), S. 53-68
Abstract: Preverbal focus in Hungarian has been argued to be more exhaustive or exhaustive in a distinguished way as compared to what has been generally called prosodic focus in languages like English or German. In virtually all analysis it has been assumed that the reason for this property of Hungarian focus is related to its immediately preverbal syntactic position. This effect has thus been derived compositionally at the syntax-semantics interface as part of the truth conditional content of the respective sentences. In this paper I present new data from a pilot experiment that suggests that exhaustiveness is not part of the truth conditional content of sentences containing preverbal focus in Hungarian. The data also shows, however, that Hungarian focus is indeed somewhat more exhaustive than prosodic focus in German. Hence there is definitely something to say about exhaustiveness in Hungarian. Finally I present a new empirical puzzle emerging from the experimental data.
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