Branan, Kenyon and Michael Yoshitaka Erlewine, 2021.
“Is there focus-marking in the syntax?.”
GLOW 44 targeted collaborative debate.
Since the early 1970’s, the analysis of focus has played a central role in discussions of the architecture of grammar. Focus refers to the identiﬁcation of a part of the sentence as standing in contrast to contextually-determined alternatives (see e.g. Krifka, 2008). Interpretationally, changes in focus placement lead to diﬀerences in discourse congruence, as well as truth-conditional semantics (see e.g. Rooth, 1992). Morphophonologically, focus placement may aﬀect stress placement or result in other morphosyntactic marking. Form-meaning correspondences in focus placement naturally lead to questions of modularity. Jackendoﬀ (1972: 240) proposed the idea of F-marking: “a syntactic marker F which can be associated with any node...”, which then feeds the semantics (Rooth 1985 et seq), morphosyntax, and prosody. Now, ﬁfty years later, we revisit this question: Is there really F-marking in the narrow syntax?