(2,477 words)

1. Definition

Focus is often defined as the notion that provides new or salient information in a sentence. Focus typically involves a focus-background articulation. Focus is the "informative" part of the sentence; the background is the "non-informative" part, that is, the knowledge that the speaker presupposes to be shared by the hearer (Halliday 1967; Jackendoff 1972; Vallduví and Engdhal 1996, among others).

There are different uses of focus. New informatio…

Cite this page
Linda BADAN, “Focus”, in: Encyclopedia of Chinese Language and Linguistics, General Editor Rint Sybesma. Consulted online on 18 March 2018 <>
First published online: 2015

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