Edited by Anna-Maria De Cesare Greenwald and Cecilia Andorno
[Pragmatics & Beyond New Series 278] 2017
► pp. 23–44
Chapter 1. Syntax and semantics of additive focus markers from a cross-linguistic perspective
A tentative assessment of the state of the art
Looking back on three decades of research on focus markers, I will make a cautious attempt to give an overview over this rich set of relevant publications, trying to identify and distinguish general trends, important results, open questions, obvious gaps and errors. I will provide further evidence for the view that focus markers interact with the information structure of a sentence or text, i.e. with a structured proposition or text segment analyzed in terms of focus and scope by extending this analysis also to the relevant “discourse markers”. A comparative analysis of data from various languages reveals the most frequent parameters of variation in the identification of the focus and scope of a focus marker. Finally, I will show that cross-linguistic generalizations in the relevant domain are only possible if the comparison is restricted to a certain core group of markers.