A signaling account of contrastive focus

  • Jon Scott Stevens


This paper outlines a model of contrastive focus placement based on signaling games (Lewis 1969, Franke 2011). First, a simple model of sentence-level focus in question-answer situations is developed. Then, the model is extended to apply to sub-sentential phrases. Finally, an iterative procedure is developed for determining foci at each level of syntactic structure. This extends simple noise-based explanations of focus placement (Schmitz 2008, Bergen and Goodman 2014) to account for more difficult cases such as farmer sentences.
How to Cite
Stevens, J. S. (1). A signaling account of contrastive focus. Proceedings of Sinn Und Bedeutung, 20, 694-711. Retrieved from https://ojs.ub.uni-konstanz.de/sub/index.php/sub/article/view/290