Inherent focus on wh-phrases

  • Regine Eckardt


In the first part of the paper, I propose a framework for focus and question interpretation. While both serve to introcude alternatives, I offer reasons that the two kinds of alternatives arise on different levels of semantic interpretation. The resulting approach can correctly account for all possible constellations of focus and questions, including intervention effects, without the use of type shifts In the second part of the paper, I will investigate data which suggest that the presence/absence of focus features correlate with a question/indefinite interpretation of wh-words. I propose that the semantic closeness is motivated diachronically. Importantly, type shifts between question alternatives and properties are possible steps in diachrony, but not part of the productive part of semantic interpretation.
How to Cite
Eckardt, R. (2019). Inherent focus on wh-phrases. Proceedings of Sinn Und Bedeutung, 11, 209-228.