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Maximal backgrounding = focus without (necessary) focus encoding

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Based on data from a range of geographically and genealogically diverse African languages this article describes a little recognized strategy for expressing focus. It is based on marking all material of an utterance as background except for the single focus constituent. This kind of “maximal backgrounding” thus renders focus without overt focus marking, called accordingly “indirect focalization”. It is argued that the recognition of this strategy has several repercussions for the general modeling of focus, and information structure in general.
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Document Type: Research Article

Publication date: January 1, 2016

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