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Abstract

This chapter gives an analysis in the framework of Bidirectional Optimality Theory (BiOT) of the relationship between nuclear accent and focus. Nuclear accent is a pitch accent that occurs near the end of an intonational phrase. Optimality Theory ( OT) makes use of a limited number of soft constraints (violable principles) ranked according to their relative strength. Optimal solutions are searched along two dimensions: (i) the dimension of the speaker who compares different prosodic forms for one and the same focal structure to be communicated; and (ii) the dimension of the hearer who compares different focus interpretations for a given prosodic form. The chapter analyses a number of illustrations of optimisation procedures involving the choice of nuclear accent/focus pairs for a given context. The constraints illustrate the interaction between syntax, semantics and pragmatics in determining the placement of accent within focus constructions.

In: Questions in Dynamic Semantics

/benefit analysis of cost and informativity. While many of these accounts are promising, and formalized in the familiar frameworks of Optimality Theory and Rational Speech Act Theory, none of them currently extend to embedded Manner implicature, and thus arguably need to be supplemented or recast in the backdrop of

In: International Review of Pragmatics