Speech Prosody 2010
Chicago, IL, USA
The present study investigates the prosodic realization of two types of contrastive (i.e., corrective) foci relative to wh-focus in Mandarin Chinese: the semantic alternative-based and a discourse-pragmatic type of contrastive focus according to which the contrast is primarily yielded by assumptions on speaker-hearer expectations on the Common Ground. It can be shown that the pragmatically oriented corrective focus is marked more distinctively in terms of prosody than is the alternative-based. Based on this empirical evidence, it is suggested to re-evaluate the current definition of contrast which mainly refers to semantic alternatives and to integrate the findings into existing models on the implementation of lexical tones.
Index Terms: corrective focus, wh-focus, lexical tones, speaker-hearer expectations, semantic alternatives
Bibliographic reference. Greif, Markus (2010): "Contrastive focus in Mandarin Chinese", In SP-2010, paper 836.