Contrastive salient alternatives: Focus on bound pronouns

Clemens Mayr


The presence of contrastive focus on pronouns interpreted as bound variables is puzzling because such variables do not refer. Therefore it is unclear how two bound variables can be made to contrast with each other. It is argued that previous approaches to this puzzle face an empirical problem. The account offered is based on the idea that the alternatives introduced by focused bound pronouns denote individuals. Introducing the novel concept of salient alternatives, it is shown that this allows one to get bound pronouns to contrast. Furthermore a modification of Rooths 1992 ?-operator is suggested: Contrastiveness is a requirement of the operator, which is modelled as a definedness condition.


focus, bound variables, alternatives, contrastiveness

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