The interaction between relevant-set based operators and a topic–predicate dimension

Anna Szeteli, Gábor Alberti

University of Pécs, Hungary


Hungarian relevant-set based operators, such as universally quantified noun-phrases and the also-quantifier, signal a logico-pragmatic relation between their explicit meaning and a broader implicit set of relevant participants which property can be mentioned as “double referentiality” of the operator. Furthermore, they indicate the new or correcting information in a topic–predicate dimension which belongs to the broader world of the discourse. Our research aims to identify the differences by investigating the suprasegmental features of each-quantifiers and also-quantifiers on the Hungarian left-periphery indicating the two functions in the topic–predicate dimension. Short sentences in which quantifiers functioning either as the main (new/correcting) information or as a topic (anchor of relevant information) were read by 41 non-linguist native Hungarian subjects. The pitch, intensity and duration properties were analyzed by Praat. On the basis of paired t-tests of the data, it can be stated that a two-dimension model of information structure is required to capture the phenomenon.

information structure, quantifiers, prosody, Praat, information focus

Suggested citation

Szeteli, Anna and Gábor Alberti. 2018. The interaction between relevant-set based operators and a topic–predicate dimension. Linguistics Beyond and Within 4: 161-172. Online at:,Gábor-Alberti.

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