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What is focus?

 

Definition
 

Focus is a term that refers to information, in a sentence, that

 
  • is new
  • is of high communicative interest
  • is marked by stress
  • typically occurs late in the sentence, and
  • complements the presupposed information typically presented early in the sentence.
Examples (English)
 

Here are some examples of focused elements:

 
  • You books are on the shelf.
  • It was math that gave him trouble.
Sources
 

Crystal 1980 148, 283, 397

 

Quirk, Greenbaum, Leech, and Svartvik 1985 86, 1361–1363

 

Talmy 1985 79–80

 

Hartmann and Stork 1972 237


Context for this page:

Go to SIL home page This page is an extract from the LinguaLinks Library, Version 5.0 published on CD-ROM by SIL International, 2003. [Ordering information.]

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