Topic, Focus, and Exhaustive Interpretation [chapter]

Robert van Rooij, Katrin Schulz
2017 Studies in Natural Language and Linguistic Theory  
In this paper we propose that a sentence like 'John T ate broccoli F ' should pragmatically be interpreted as follows: (a) Focus should be interpreted exhaustively; John ate only broccoli; (b) Topic must be interpreted exhaustively: Only John ate (only) broccoli; and (c) The speaker takes it to be possible (or even knows, if he is competent) that at least one alternative of the form 'x ate y' not entailed by the sentence is true. It will be shown that in terms of this analysis we can also
more » ... s we can also account for all the scope-inversion data of Büring (1997), without giving rise to some of the problems of the latter analysis.
doi:10.1007/978-3-319-10106-4_4 fatcat:qqpwckdjz5hlncglgrryco7ibm