German doch as a marker of given information

Autor:
Karagjosova, Elena
Aufsatztitel:
German doch as a marker of given information
Jahrgang:
28
Heft:
1 (2004)
Seiten:
71-78
Abstract:

This paper investigates two uses of the German discourse particle doch, namely the cases in which it occurs in the Middle Field either accented or deaccented. We argue that none of these uses marks given information or common knowledge per se. More closely, we suggest that deaccented doch does not mark given information per se but as a result of the association of the whole proposition in its scope with the topic or Theme part of the sentence, and that accented DOCH restricts the alternatives evoked by the default sentence focus. We also argue that the common semantic denominator uniting the two uses of doch is the notion of contrast which is differently manifested due to the prosodic difference: evoking an alternative proposition in the case of accented DOCH and a contrast between the givenness of the proposition in the scope of unaccented doch and its assumed or evident non-salience.

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