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On Wed, 13 Nov 2002 15:26:19 +0100, Christophe Grandsire
<[log in to unmask]> wrote:

>Vocabulary remark: "topic" typically refers only to new information. What you
>call "topic ... for old information" should rather be called "focus". Note that
>not everybody agrees on that nomenclature, but I find it rather simple and
>helpful.

This is confusing, since it's the opposite of the way Thomas Payne uses
"topic" and "focus" in _Describing Morphosyntax_. He uses "topic" for old
information (or "theme") as opposed to "focus", which represents new
information ("rheme", "assertion"). That's also the way I plan on using the
terms in Lindiga, which makes distinctions like:

iléiasku meuze sérnga "the mouse ate the CHEESE" (focus on "cheese") vs.
ate      mouse cheese

iléiasku sérnga meuze "the MOUSE ate the cheese" (focus on "mouse").
ate      cheese mouse

The first one answers the question "what did the mouse eat?", while the
second one answers "who ate the cheese?". In Lindiga, the topic precedes
the focus in ordinary clauses like this, in cases when both nouns are
identifiable.

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