Edited by Marco García García and Melanie Uth
[Studies in Language Companion Series 201] 2018
► pp. 173–200
Chapter 6Distinguishing contrast and focus at PF
A view from Italian
This paper argues in favor of the hypothesis that contrast and focus are two independent categories of information structure (Neeleman & Vermeulen 2012). After showing that contrast and focus have a different semantics (Torregrossa 2015), I investigate whether they are associated with different prosodic representations. In particular, I will present the results of a production experiment targeting the prosodic realization of in-situ contrast and focus constituents in the variety of Italian spoken in Rionero, in the Basilicata region. The data shows that contrast and focus are expressed by different prosodic means, involving the choice of a specific pitch contour or the modulation of phonetic variables (e.g., duration of stressed syllable or alignment of tonal targets).
- 1.Topic, focus and contrast in Italian sentences
- 2.Focus and contrast: Two notions or the same notion?
- 3.The prosody of focus and contrast in some Italian varieties
- 4.The Experiment: Focus and contrast in Rionero Italian
- 4.2.1Phonological strategy: Differences in the type of pitch contour (M1)
- 4.2.2Mixed strategy: Type of pitch accent and tonal target alignment (F1)
- 4.2.3Phonetic strategy: Different durations of the stressed syllables (F2)
- 5.General discussion and conclusions: A different prosodic representation of contrast and focus
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