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Prosodic Correlation Between the Focusing Adverb Ozik ‘Only’ and Focus/Givenness in Korean

Keywords: focusing adverb , focus , GIVENness , prosody , discourse

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Abstract:

This study investigates the prosodic correlation between the focusing adverb ozik ‘only’ andfocus/GIVENness in Korean. The goal is to test the issue of whether or not the element associated with ozikcan be dephrased in Korean. This question is answered by a perceptual experiment in which the pitchcontours of target sentences (i.e. Jeoneun ozik gichareul tamnida ‘I only take the train’ and Jeoneun ozikdaehanhanggongeul iyonghamnida ‘I only take Korean Air.’) are modified using Praat. The modifiedsentences are embedded in two competing contexts in which focus/GIVENness on the element associatedwith ozik (i.e. gichareul ‘the train’, daehanhanggongeul ‘Korean Air’) is elicited. The results reveal thatDoubleH (where both the focusing adverb and the object have prosodic prominence) is shown to be themost favored prosodic model when the element associated with ozik is focused in discourse. Conversely,OzikH (where the focusing adverb has prosodic prominence) is shown to be most favored when theelement associated with ozik is GIVEN. Therefore, we argue that the element associated with ozik can beeither prosodically prominent or dephrased depending on the discourse. This finding demonstrates thatdiscourse functions such as focus and GIVENness are not directly contingent on the lexical semantics of thefocusing adverb but instead are constrained by the discourse.

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