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Information StructureTheoretical, Typological, and Experimental Perspectives$
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Malte Zimmermann and Caroline Féry

Print publication date: 2009

Print ISBN-13: 9780199570959

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: February 2010

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780199570959.001.0001

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Contrastive topics operate on speech acts *

Contrastive topics operate on speech acts *

(p.115) 6 Contrastive topics operate on speech acts*
Information Structure

Satoshi Tomioka

Oxford University Press

Contrastive Topics are known to elicit a kind of pragmatic effect that is characterized as incompleteness, partiality, and/or uncertainty. Chapter 5 ‘Contrastive Topics Operate on Speech Acts’ by Satoshi Tomioka presents an analysis of this effect that makes appeal to contrasted speech acts. The majority of the empirical data discussed in the chapter come from Japanese, in which contrastive topics receive proto‐typical focus accents and the particle (‐wa) that signals a sentence topic must be employed. The proposed analysis derives the pragmatic effect of contrastive topics by making use of the contribution of focus accents, the function of the topic particle, and pragmatic inference based on the Gricean reasoning. A variety of consequences and implications of the analysis are also addressed.

Keywords:   contrastive topic, exhaustivity, focus, scalar implicature, speech act, thematic topic

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