Last updated on 10/18/2017
Borise L. Prosody of Focus in a Language with a Fixed Focus Position: Evidence from Georgian. Proceedings of West Coast Conference on Formal Linguistics (WCCFL) 34, 89-96. 2017.
This paper argues that Georgian, a language with a fixed structural position reserved for the focused element (immediately preverbal), also uses prosody to signal focus. Specifically, data from a preliminary study reported here shows that various types of foci – wh-questions (WHQ), yes-no questions (YNQ), and contrastive contexts – bear the same prosodic marker of focus: the phrase accent L, rigidly aligned with the penultimate syllable of the predicate. The advantage of the approach advocated here is that it provides a unified account for the prosodic realization of different types of focus in Georgian. The double-marking of the same feature in syntax and prosody raises questions as to why language does not rely on just one of these strategies.