Focus and Higher-Order Unification

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Focus and Higher-Order Unification
2 Focus theory Pulman has shown that Higher-Order Unifcation (HOU) can be used to model the interpretation of focus. In this paper, we extend the unification based approach to cases which are often seen as a test-bed for focus theory: utterances with multiple focus operators and second occurrence expressions. We then show that the resulting analysis favourably compares with two prominent theories of focus (namely, Rooth's Alternative Semantics and Krifka's Structured Meano ings theory) in that it correctly generates interpretations which these alternative theories cannot yield. Finally, we discuss the formal properties of the approach and argue that even though HOU need not terminate, for the class of unification-problems dealt with in this paper, HOU avoids this shortcoming and is in fact computationally tractable.
Claire Gardent, Michael Kohlhase
Added 02 Nov 2010
Updated 02 Nov 2010
Type Conference
Year 1996
Authors Claire Gardent, Michael Kohlhase
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