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On Mon, Oct 11, 2004 at 11:57:18AM -0700, H. S. Teoh wrote:
> I meant "topic" and "focus" synonymously. I suppose I'm using the
> wrong terminology?

They are often synonymous in English, but as technical linguistic terms
they are not.  I only know this from reading past posts on this list,
however. :)  I personally am not familiar enough with the terms to
explain the distinction, and I suspect it depends somwhat on which
linguistic theolo. . .er, theory you subscribe to.  I *believe*,
however, that a "focus" is a new element in the conversation, appearing
for the first time in the sentence in question, while a "topic"
is an already-established element that may not even be explicit
in the sentence under discussion.

-Marcos