The Architecture of FocuseBook - 2006
This collection investigates the architecture of focus in linguistic theory from different theoretical perspectives. Research on focus and information structure in the last four decades has shown that the phenomenon of focus is highly complex, the theoretical approaches manifold, and the data highly sensitive. The main emphasis has been placed on the integration of the notion of focus in generative grammar. In recent years, however, the approaches to focus and information structure underwent a radical change in perspective. The theoretical concept of focus, its related terms and phenomena became the object of research. Along with it, the research questions shifted: instead of locating focus in the architecture of grammar, linguists investigate the architecture of focus itself. The central underlying idea of this collection is to document this change in perspective with the aim of isolating essential keystones and research areas in both the theoretical and empirical domain. The book is structured accordingly. Following the introduction, there are four main sections: The general section discusses the theoretical foundations of focus within grammar. The second section hosts papers which investigate the representation of focus and topic at the syntax-pragmatics interface. The third section discusses the phonological representation of focus and its relation to meaning. The papers of the final section investigate different types of focus constructions in a variety languages. The collection of papers on the architecture of focus, its interpretation and representation mirror the establishment of the focus research field.