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Open Access The Interaction between Presupposition and Focus: Classical Greek Wh-Exclamatives

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The Interaction between Presupposition and Focus: Classical Greek Wh-Exclamatives

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In this paper, we argue against the claim that exclamatives could be reducible to interrogatives in Classical Greek as sometimes claimed for English. Exclamatives are original in that they denote presupposed propositions and are headed by specific (wh-morpheme h-) and focused wh-items. They necessarily involve degrees. We try to make sense of all these features by showing that the exclamative speech act resides in the meeting of knowledge (presupposition, specificity) and unexpectedness (focus, extended scales) at the semantic/pragmatic/syntax interface.


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