LINGUIST List 9.940

Wed Jun 24 1998

Books: Semantics

Editor for this issue: Anita Huang <>

Links to the websites of all LINGUIST's supporting publishers are available at the end of this issue.


  • Vivien Eng, Semantics

    Message 1: Semantics

    Date: 22 Jun 98 09:52:18 -0400
    From: Vivien Eng <>
    Subject: Semantics


    Nomi Erteschik-Shir (Ben-Gurion University of the Negev); The Dynamics of Focus Structure; ISBN: 0-521-59217-8; Hardback, 6 x 9, 294 pp.; PUBLISHER:Cambridge University Press; $64.95;

    All modes of perception (vision, hearing, etc.) are organized into foreground or focus and background constituents. Natural language sentences are no different. This book explores the role of focusing in natural language sentences and the role of this basic cognitive mechanism in explaining sentence stress, meaning and structure. The result is an innovative view of our linguistic competence.; Contents: Introduction; 1. The Interpretation of f-structure; 2. Reference and coreference; 3. Negation, questions and contrast; 4. The phonological interpretation f-structure; 5. Scope and r-dependencies; 6. I-dependencies in da s-structure; Conclusion; References; Index of names; Index of subjects.

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    Focus and Natural Language Processing: Linguistic, Cognitive, and Computational Perspectives; ISBN: 0-521-58305-5; Hardback, 6 X 9, c. 300 pp.; P. Bosch, ed. (Institute for Logic and Linguistics, IBM, Germany); PUBLISHER:Cambridge University Press; $59.95;

    This books presents a collection of papers on the issue of focus in its broadest sense. While commonly considered as being related to phenomena such as presupposition and anaphora, focusing is much more widely spread, and it is this pervasiveness that the current collection addresses. The work loosely originates from a conference held in 1994 in Schloss Wolfsbrunnen in Germany, although only a small subpart of the proceedings papers presented are included here. The contributed papers have been reworked for the current volume to present a coherent study of the subject.; Contents: Introduction; PART 1; INTONATION AND SYNTAX; 1; Contrastive stress, contrariety and focus; 2; The processing of information structure in Synphonics; 3; Focus and sentence accents in English; 4; Informational autonomy; 5; Focus and operator scope in German; 6; Subject-prodrop in Yiddish; 7; Remarks on intonation and "focus"; PART 2; SEMANTICS; 8; What is the alternative?; 9; Topic; 10; Focus with nominal quantifiers; 11; Dependencies in focus-structure; 12; Topic, focus and negation; 13; Topic, focus and weak quantifiers; 14; Focus, quantification, and semantics-pragmatic issues; 15; Association with focus or association with presupposition?; 16; Time adverbials in sentence and discourse; PART 3; DISCOURSE; 17; Focusing particles and ellipsis resolution; 18; Discourse and the focus/background distinction; 19; On different kinds of focus; 20; Stressed and unstressed pronouns: complementary preferences; 21; Frame shifts: indefinite reference to familiar referents; 22; Discourse linking and discourse subordination; 23; Domain restriction; 24; Updates, files and focus-ground;

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    The following contributing LINGUIST publishers have made their backlists available on the World Wide Web:

    1998 Contributors

  • Addison Wesley Longman
  • Blackwell Publishers
  • Cambridge University Press
  • CSLI Publications
  • Edinburgh University Press
  • Garland Publishing
  • Holland Academic Graphics (HAG)
  • John Benjamins Publishing Company
  • Lawrence Erlbaum Assoc.
  • Oxford University Press
  • Francais Pratique
  • Routledge
  • Summer Institute of Linguistics
  • Mouton de Gruyter