zum Inhalt springen

Focus realization and interpretation in Romance

and beyond

International and interdisciplinary workshop on focus realization in different languages

Cologne, January, 30-31, 2014

Local organizers: Marco García García, Melanie Uth


Sponsored by:




Meeting Description

The contributions of this interdisciplinary workshop deal with the following topics:

- Syntactic and prosodic strategies for the realization of contrastive focus and other focus types in Spanish, Catalan, French, German, English, Chinese, Greek and Hungarian

- The interplay between focus realization and the verbalization of further components of meaning such as polarity or grammatical aspect

- Syntactic and prosodic focus realization in second language acquisition in language contact of Spanish, German, Italian or Portuguese

- Interaction of focus and further semantic or pragmatic features in the interpretation of cleft constructions, nominal phrases and intonation contours

Given this variety of topics, the workshop is an opportunity for constructively discussing the major aspects and controversial issues which are currently being dealt with by international science, in a circle of experienced and renowned researchers.



The workshop is free of charge, but registration by e-mail is requested in order to facilitate the organization. Active participants don't need to register.


Conference venue & directions

The conference takes place at the main building of the University of Cologne:


In order to get to the meeting room 'Neuer Senatssaal', take the main entrance, turn left, go upstairs, turn right, cross the building, and go through the glazed door on the left. The meeting room is located right behind this door on the right-hand site of the corridor:



How to get from the airport to Hotel Chelsea

How to get from the main train station to Hotel Chelsea

How to get from Hotel Chelsea to the conference venue

How to get from the conference venue to the conference dinner

How to get from Hotel Chelsea to the conference dinner

How to get from the conference venue to Café Magnus




Thursday, January 30, 2014


Friday, January 31, 2014




Melanie Uth &Marco García García





Stavros Skopeteas (Bielefeld)

Syntactic or prosodic realization of focus: A cross-linguistic study on speech production


Christoph Gabriel & Jonas Grünke (Hamburg)

Focus, Prosody, and Word Order in L3 Spanish: Analyzing data from German learners with Italian and Portuguese as heritage language


Daniel Jacob (Freiburg)

'Only' in French: Focalization into ordered and scalar sets of alternatives and its expression in German, French, and Spanish


Aria Adli (Berlin)

Focus and theticity



coffee break



coffee break


Christine Dimroth (Münster)

The addition of assertions with maintained or changed polarity: Production data from speakers of Dutch, French, German and Italian


Andreas Dufter (München)

Pseudo-clefts in French: formal and functional motivations


Manuel Leonetti (Alcalá de Henares)

Word order and the *ser / estar* distinction in Spanish: The interaction of aspect and focus structure


Anna-Maria De Cesare (Basel)

Discourse hot spots: Clefts with focus adverbs in Italian, French and English


Marco García García (Cologne)

Focus and exclamative NPs in Spanish


Klaus von Heusinger &

Sofiana Chiriacescu (Cologne)

Information Structure and Discourse Prominence. Evidence from differential object marking in Romanian


Pilar Prieto & Maria del Mar Vanrell & Antonio Stella & Barbara Gili-Fivela (Barcelona)

Prosodic manifestations of the Effort Code in Catalan, Italian, and Spanish contrastive focus


Uli Reich & Jan Fließbach (Berlin)

The sound of truth. Focus and epistemic operators in the common ground as complementary meanings of intonation in romance languages


coffee break



coffee break


Martine Grice & Simon Ritter (Cologne)

The importance of onglides for the interpretation of Information Structure in German


Volker Struckmeier (Cologne)

Prosody and semantics (and not discourse) drives German scrambling movements


Melanie Uth (Cologne)

Prosodic realization of contrastive focus in Yucatecan Spanish


Final discussion and closing remarks