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An Interdisciplinary Journal of the Language Sciences

Editor-in-Chief: Gast, Volker

IMPACT FACTOR 2018: 1.066

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Volume 50, Issue 1


Conjunct adverb doch and the notion of contrast

Elena Karagjosova


The paper contributes to the ongoing discussion on the relation between information structure and discourse structure. It presents an account of the German conjunct adverb doch (dochCA) that is based on the observation that the interaction between the two structures determines the semantic and pragmatic properties of this conjunct adverb. The account of dochCA presented thus defends a monosemic view on which the semantic and pragmatic properties of this particular use of the German discourse particle doch can be derived from the properties of the context in which the word occurs. I argue in particular that dochCA acquires its anaphoric and concessive properties due to the following interaction between discourse structure and information structure: (i) accent on dochCA evokes as a focus alternative the proposition expressed by the negated counterpart of the dochCA-host, and (ii) prosodically induced contrast together with a mechanism I tentatively call discourse-linking lead to establishing an implicational anaphoric link of the dochCA-host to the first conjunct in a dochCA-conjunction. The analysis of dochCA is argued to account for the relation between dochCA and other uses of the word, such as the conjunction doch and the adverbial middle-field doch. It also suggests an alternative account of cases of Roothean contrast (Rooth, Natural language semantics 1: 75116, 1992) involving implicit antecedents of contrastive focus alternatives, as well as a general model of the mechanics of the concessive interpretation of contrastive conjunctions such as aber and but.

About the article

Correspondence address: Institut fr Linguistik/Germanistik (ILG), Universitt Stuttgart, Postfach 10 60 37, D-70049 Stuttgart, Germany.

Received: 2007-08-28

Revised: 2010-04-19

Published in Print: 2012-01-01

Citation Information: Linguistics, Volume 50, Issue 1, Pages 27–64, ISSN (Online) 1613-396X, ISSN (Print) 0024-3949, DOI: https://doi.org/10.1515/ling-2012-0002.

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