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Open Access Publications from the University of California

Department of Linguistics

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WPP, No. 105: The Intonation of Focus in Farsi


This paper examines the intonational correlates of focus in Farsi. Data are presented from two native Farsi speakers illustrating focus (contrastive focus, in particular) in several different types of constructions. Descriptively, focus is characterized by a pitch accent with an extra high F0 followed by deaccenting and dephrasing to the end of the intonational phrase. Some possible phonological analyses of this pattern in the data are considered. They are further evaluated with respect to several other non-focus constructions that are phonetically similar to focus (i.e., which also involve deaccenting and dephrasing). Finally, a unified phonological analysis of focus and other deaccenting phenomena is suggested.

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