Friday, May 08, 2015

Topic vs focus again

The topicalized clause, at least in the Genesis corpus, always occurs in the context of a second segment to which it is related. In contrast, the focused clause can occur as an isolated clause, relating to information activated by the extratextual situation. Topicalization does not mark a constituent as focus. Although in a subset of oppositional topicalized clauses, it is possible to view the final constituent as a focus from a pragmatic perspective, this constituent is not syntactically marked in any way.— Word Order in the Biblical Hebrew Finite Clause, page 165–66

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