11th Annual Conference of the International Speech Communication Association

Makuhari, Chiba, Japan
September 26-30. 2010

Focus-Sensitive Operator or Focus Inducer: Always and Only

Yong-cheol Lee, Satoshi Nambu

University of Pennsylvania, USA

There is a long-standing debate in the literature about whether focus particles function as focus-sensitive operators or focus inducers. However, it has not yet been established which perspective is correct. The current study investigates the effect of focus particles, using four different conditions. The results show that the focus particles are focus-sensitive operators, since the focused words are not affected by the presence of the focus particles. In addition, prosodic differences can be seen between always and only. The former has more increased mean and maximal F0, duration, and intensity values than the latter. This result suggests that always bears notable prosodic features in and of itself.

Index Terms: focus-particle, focus-sensitive operator, focus inducer, PENTA, intonational function

Full Paper

Bibliographic reference.  Lee, Yong-cheol / Nambu, Satoshi (2010): "Focus-sensitive operator or focus inducer: always and only", In INTERSPEECH-2010, 130-133.