"Focus Constraints on Ellipsis --- An Unalternatives Account"

Muriel Assmann, Daniel Büring, Izabela Jordanoska, Max Prüller

In: Proceedings of Sinn & Bedeutung 2017

We explore the interplay between focusing and ellipsis. The paper presents a new account of the generalization that focused elements cannot be elided, framed within Unalternative Semantics, a framework that does away with syntactic F-marking. We propose the mirror image of the generalization: what is elided cannot introduce alternatives. We implement this as a focus restriction in UAS and then go on to show how to account for MAXELIDE effects using the same technique, without making reference to any transderivational constraints.


    	Author = {Muriel Assmann and Daniel B{\"{u}}ring and Izabela Jordanoska and Max Pr{\"{u}}ller};
    	Crossref = {SinnBedeutung2017},
    	Pages = {},
    	Title = {Focus Constraints on Ellipsis --- An Unalternatives Account}}

      	Address = {},
      	Booktitle = {Proceedings of Sinn \& Bedeutung 2017},
      	Editor = {},
      	Number = {},
      	Publisher = {},
      	Title = {},
      	Year = {2018}}



"Ja Doch!"

In: Clemens Mayr and Edwin Williams: Festschrift für Martin Prinzhorn. Wiener Linguistische Gazette 82. 23-35.

I argue that the German discourse particles "ja" and "doch" relate to the utterances of the sentences they occurr in, not just their propositional content. "ja" means, roughly, that the addressee, too, was in a position, and ready to, make the utterance, whereas "doch" means that the addressee was in a position, but not about to make the same utterance.


	Author = {Daniel B{\"{u}}ring},
	Crossref = {PrinzhornFestschrift},
	Pages = {23--35},
	Title = {Ja Doch!}}

  	Address = {Vienna},
  	Booktitle = {Festschrift f{\"u}r Martin Prinzhorn},
  	Editor = {Clemens Mayr and Edwin Williams},
  	Number = {82},
  	Publisher = {Wiener Linguistische Gazette},
  	Title = {Festschrift f{\"u}r Martin Prinzhorn},
  	Year = {2017}}


"Discontinuous Foci and Unalternative Semantics"

In: Linguistica LVI. 67-82.

Discontinuous foci ---cases in which the focus as expected by semantic or pragmatic considerations is not a single constituent within the phrase marker--- are not commonly discussed in the formal literature on focussing. This paper proposes to use Unalternative Semantics to analyze such foci. Unalternative Semantics is a novel framework for calculating focus alternatives from metrically annotated trees (instead of trees with F-makers); this format naturally lends itself to the modelling of discontinuous foci. The paper compares this approach to other, alternative options involving F-markers and argues in favor of the F-less treatment.


	Author = {Daniel B{\"{u}}ring},
	Crossref = {LinguisticaLVI},
	Pages = {67--82},
	Title = {Discontinuous Foci and Unalternative Semantics}}

	Address = {Ljubljana},
	Editor = {Ga\v{s}per Ilc and Fran\v{c}i\v{s}ka Lipov\v{s}ek and Tatjana Marvin and Andrej Stopar},
	Publisher = {Filozofska Fakulteta Ljubljana},
	Series = {Current Trends in Generative Linguistics},
	Title = {Linguistica {LVI}},
	Volume = {56},
	Year = {2016}}

"Focus, Questions and Givenness"

to appear in: Klaus von Heusinger, Edgar Onea and Malte Zimmermann (eds) Questions in Discourse

This paper combines a Question(-under-Discussion) account of focusing with a givenness account of prosodic demotion (`deaccenting'). Its main tenets are, first, that all focusing is contrastive, i.e. points to a proper question ---a question with contrasting answers; second, that any deviation from default stress signals focusing; there is no `anaphoric deaccenting' of given elements, only contrastive focusing. Third, the question that licenses focusing need not be contextually salient, merely identifiable and relevant. Fourth and finally, where the prosodic realization of focusing requires prosodic demotion ---the assignment of less-than-default stress to a constituent--- that constituent must be given; a question under discussion, even if identifiable and relevant, cannot lead prosodic demotion of discourse-new elements.
The approach is couched in terms of unalternative semantics, a new method of relating stress patterns to sets of potential focal targets (`alternatives') which does not rely on syntactic F-marking. The overall approach is argued to successfully explain cases in which given elements fail to deaccent, in which focal backgrounds are not contextually salient, as well as, more speculatively, cases of double focus.


	Author = {Daniel B{\"{u}}ring},
	Crossref = {Oneaetal:qid},
	Title = {Focus, Questions and Givenness}}

	Address = {Holland},
	Booktitle = {Questions in Discourse},
	Editor = {von Heusinger, Klaus and Edgar Onea and Malte Zimmermann},
	Publisher = {Brill},
	Title = {Questions in Discourse},
	Year = {forthcoming}}

"A Beginner's Guide to Unalternative Semantics"

Manuscript, Vienna

A beginner's guide to unalternative semantics.


	Address = {Vienna},
	Author = {Daniel B{\"{u}}ring},
	Edition = {manuscript},
	Organization = {University of Vienna},
	Title = {A Beginner's Guide To Unalternative Semantics},
	Url = {http://semanticsarchive.net/Archive/jVmZjAxN/},
	Year = {2016},


"Unalternative Semantics"

Proceedings of SALT25

Unalternative Semantics (UAS) is a new approach to deriving semantic focus alternatives compositionally. It does not use F-features but directly interprets relational aspects of grammatical representation such as the weak-strong relation among metrical sisters.
UAS collects restrictions on possible foci, the unalternatives; at every branching node, constraints on what the focal target of an utterance cannot be are added. The paper introduces the basic machinery and demonstrates how to model contrastive focus, answer focus, and second occurrence focus. More speculative suggestions are added on the relation between contrast and givenness, and on modelling non-prosodic focus related phenomena in Hausa.


	Author = {Daniel B{\"{u}}ring},
	Booktitle = {Proceedings of SALT 25},
	Crossref = {SALT25},
	Doi = {http://dx.doi.org/10.3765/salt.v25i0.3634},
	Pages = {550--575},
	Title = {Unalternative Semantics},
	Year = 2015,

	Booktitle = {Proceedings of the 25th Semantics and Linguistic Theory Conference},
	Doi = {http://dx.doi.org/10.3765/salt},
	Editor = {Sarah D'Antonio and Mary Moroney and Carol Rose Little},
	Publisher = {Linguistic Society of America},
	Title = {Proceedings of the 25th Semantics and Linguistic Theory Conference},
	Url = {http://journals.linguisticsociety.org/proceedings/index.php/SALT/issue/view/132},
	Year = {2015},

"Semantic Coordination Without Syntactic Coordinators"

with Katharina Hartmann
In: Ida Toivonen, Piroska Csuri and Emile van der Zee (eds) Structures in the Mind: Essays on Language, Music, and Cognition in Honor of Ray Jackendoff. MIT Press.

German "aber" walks and talks like a syntactic connective, but, as we discuss in this paper, it may occur buried within the second conjunct, rather than between conjuncts, as one would expect; an example is "Norman hat bedrohlich zugenommen, trägt ABER trotzdem noch seine alten Frosch-Hosen". Yet, semantically and distributionally, it clearly is a coordinator, and not just an adversative particle, like "trotzdem" and "dennoch". Moreover, "aber" shares this behavior with other elements like "allerdings" and "jedoch", which never occur between conjuncts. We develop an analysis on which semantically, "aber" is a coordinator, but syntatically it is just another particle.

   author =   {Daniel B\"uring and Katharina Hartmann},
   title =    {Semantic Coordination Without Syntactic Coordinators},
   crossref = {Toivonenetal:2015},
   pages =    {41--61},

   editor =    {Toivonen, Ida and Piroska Cs\'uri and Emile Van Der Zee},
   title =     {Structures in the Mind: Essays on Language, Music, and
                Cognition in Honor of {R}ay {J}ackendoff},
   booktitle = {Structures in the Mind: Essays on Language, Music, and
                Cognition in Honor of {R}ay {J}ackendoff},
   publisher = {{MIT} Press},
   address =   {Cambridge and London},
   year =      {2015},

"Advantage: Obligatory Binding Into Finite Complements?''

In: Grazer Linguistische Studien 83

Analyzes the semantics of the noun "advantage" as in "Joan has the advantage that she owns an electric worm stunner" and similar. The curious fact about in particular "have the advantage that" is that the "that" clause needs to contain a bound pronoun, similar to PRO. To make matters worse, that pronoun appears to be bound not by one of the matrix DPs, but by the word "advantage" itself. The paper tries to shed some light on this disreputable behavior by way of explicating the meaning of "advantage".

   author =   {Daniel B\"uring},
   title =    {``Advantage'': Obligatory Binding Into Finite Complements?},
   crossref = {gls83},
   pages =    {7--26},

   title =     {Proceedings of the Seventh Conference on Syntax, Phonology
                and Language Analysis --- SinFonIJA VII},
   year =      2015,
   address =   {Graz},
   booktitle = {Proceedings of the Seventh Conference on Syntax, Phonology
                and Language Analysis --- SinFonIJA VII},
   editor =    {Remus Gergel and Andreas Bl\"{u}mel},
   series =    {Grazer Linguistische Studien},
   number =    {83},


"(Contrastive) Topic"

In: Caroline Féry and Shin Ishihara (eds)(in press) Handbook of Information Structure. Oxford University Press.

A brief overview of contrastive topic phenomena and accounts proposed therefore. Includes a slightly simplified version of my D-Trees proposal (namely one without D-Trees).

   author =    {Daniel B\"uring},
   title =     {(Contrastive) Topic},
   crossref = {FeryIshihara:IShandbook}

   title =     {The Handbook of Information Structure},
   publisher = {Oxford University Press},
   year =      {to appear},
   address =   {Oxford, {UK}},
   editor =    {Caroline F\'ery and Shinichiro Ishihara},
   booktitle = {The Handbook of Information Structure},


"A Theory of Second Occurrence Focus".

Language and Cognitive Processes. DOI: 10.1080/01690965.2013.835433

This paper proposes to analyse second occurrence foci as foci whose domain is properly contained in the background of another focus domain, and linearly follows the last focus of that domain. It is shown that general assumptions about the representation and prosodic realisation of focus predict that foci with these properties will be realised by stress, but not pitch accent, i.e. as second occurrence foci. Furthermore, whether a focus domain is subordinated in this sense follows from general principles of focus assignment and interpretation. No assumptions specific to second occurrence foci are required to explain the phenomenon. The analysis relies on, and thus indirectly supports, the assumptions that focus/background, rather than new/given are the relevant concepts in stress and accent assignment, and that focus realisation is mediated by prosodic, particularly metrical, structure.

   author =  {Daniel B\"uring},
   title =   {A Theory of Second Occurrence Focus},
   journal = {Language as a Cognitive Process/Language, Cognition and Neuroscience},
   year =    {2013/15},
   volume = 30,
   number = {1--2},
   pages = {73--87},
   doi =     {10.1080/01690965.2013.835433},

"It's That and That's It! - Exhaustivity and Homogeneity Presuppositions in Clefts (And Definites)".

with Manuel Kriz

In: `Semantics & Pragmatics', Vol 6, Number 6, 1-29.

This paper proposes a way to encode exhaustivity in clefts as a presupposition, something which has been claimed to be adequate, but never successfully implemented. We furthermore show that the facts that prompted the need for such an analysis carry over to identity sentences with definite DPs and propose a way to achieve the same presuppositions for definite DPs.
This paper builds on the ideas in my 2010 paper on clefts. In the newer version the formulation of the presupposition is slightly different, and much more empirical and theoretical ground is covered.

	Author = {B{\"u}ring, Daniel and Kri{\v z}, Manuel},
	Doi = {10.3765/sp.6.6},
	Journal = {Semantics and Pragmatics},
	Keywords = {clefts, definites, presuppositions, homogeneity, exhaustivity},
	Month = {August},
	Number = {6},
	Pages = {1--29},
	Title = {It's that, and that's it! {Exhaustivity} and homogeneity presuppositions in clefts (and definites)},
	Volume = {6},
	Year = {2013}}

"Syntax and Prosody, Syntax and Meaning"

In: Marcel den Dikken, (ed.), The Cambridge Handbook of Generative Syntax. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press. 860-896.

Handbook article; special attention on how syntax, prosody and information structure interact and what options that leaves us for the `architecture of grammar'.


   author =    {Daniel B\"uring},
   title =     {Syntax, information structure, and prosody},
   crossref =  {CambridgeSyntaxHandbook},
   pages =     {860--896},
   doi =       {http://dx.doi.org/10.1017/CBO9780511804571.029},
   editor =    {Den Dikken, Marcel},
   booktitle = {The {C}ambridge Handbook of Generative Syntax},
   address =   {Cambridge, {UK}},
   title =     {The Cambridge Handbook of Generative Syntax},
   year =      2013,
   publisher = {Cambridge University Press},
   url =       {http://dx.doi.org/10.1017/CBO9780511804571},
   doi =       {http://dx.doi.org/10.1017/CBO9780511804571},


"Reciprocal Reflexives"

In: Thomas Graf and Denis Paperno and Anna Szabolcsi and Jos Tellings (2012) Theories of Everything: In Honor of Ed Keenan. UCLA Working Papers in Linguistics, no.17, 2012. 22-34.

The German plain reflexive `sich', when anteceded by a plural DP, can receive a reciprocal interpretation. This is possible only if `sich' occurs in direct or indirect object function, but not when it is the object of a preposition. This squib illustrates this pattern in detail and outlines an analysis that treats `sich' as an intransitivizing element, along the lines of Keenan (1988, 2007).

   author =   {Daniel B\"uring},
   title =    {Reciprocal Reflexives},
   crossref = {keenanfestschrift},
   year =     2012,
   pages =    {22--34},

   author =    {},
   title =     {Theories of Everything: In Honor of Ed Keenan},
   publisher = {},
   year =      2012,
   address =   {http://www.linguistics.ucla.edu/faciliti/wpl/issues/wpl17/wpl17.html},
   editor =    {Thomas Graf and Denis Paperno and Anna Szabolcsi and Jos
   booktitle = {Theories of Everything: In Honor of Ed Keenan},
   series =    {UCLA Working Papers in Linguistics},
   volume =    {17},

"Predicate Integration --- Phrase Structure or Argument Structure?"

In: Contrasts and Positions in Information Structure. Edited by Ivona Kucerova and Ad Neeleman. Cambridge University Press. 27-47

Presents a novel formal account of predicate integration, i.e. the fact that argument--verb combinations are regularly realized with a single accent on the argument and an unaccented verb. The formalism captures basically the same empirical ground as the Sentence Accent Assignment Rule in Gussenhoven (1983, and later pubs), but it does so within a framework that relates focus to metrical prosodic representations, rather than just accents. I zoom in on a number of cases in which argument and predicate stand in a non-local relation, either after movement or by base-generation. It is argued that such cases justify an appeal to the non-structural notions `argument' and `predicate', as did Gussenhoven's original proposal, but remain problematic under otherwise more elegant phrase structure-based accounts such as Truckenbrodt (1995,1999,2006) or Selkirk & Kratzer (2007). This paper also covers the material presented in my 2009 CLS talk. (26 pages)

     author =    {Daniel B\"uring},
     title =     {Predicate {I}ntegration --- {P}hrase {S}tructure or {A}rgument {S}tructure?},
     booktitle = {Contrasts and Positions in Information Structure},
     publisher = {Cambridge University Press},
     address = {Cambridge},
     editor = {Ivona Ku\v{c}erov\'a and Ad Neeleman},
     year =      {2012},
     pages = {27--47},

   author =   {Daniel B\"uring},
   title =    {Predicate {I}ntegration --- {P}hrase {S}tructure or
	       {A}rgument {S}tructure?},
   pages =    {27--47},
   crossref = {KucerovaNeeleman:2012},
   title =     {Contrasts and Positions in Information Structure},
   publisher = {Cambridge University Press},
   year =      2012,
   address =   {Cambridge},
   editor =    {Ivona Ku\v{c}erov\'a and Ad Neeleman},
   booktitle = {Contrasts and Positions in Information Structure},

"Focus and Intonation"

In: Gillian Russell and Delia Graff Fara, eds., Routledge Companion to the Philosophy of Language. London: Routlegde. 103-115.

Handbook article for readers with little previous exposure to the topic.


   author =    {Daniel B\"uring},
   title =     {Focus and Intonation},
   crossref = {RoutledgePhilLang},
   pages = {103--115},
   year = {2012},}

   title = {Routledge Companion to the Philosophy of Language},
   booktitle = {Routledge Companion to the Philosophy of Language},
   publisher = {Routlegde},
   address =   {London},
   year =      {2012},
   editor =    {Gillian Russell and Delia Graff Fara},
   series = {Routledge Philosophy Companions},



In: Klaus Von Heusinger and Claudia Maienborn and Paul Portner (eds) Semantics: An International Handbook of Natural Language Meaning

An overview of the semantics of pronouns, including indefinite and demonstrative pronouns, phi-features, plurals, reciprocals, binding v. coreference, functional pronouns and all that other good stuff.


   author =    {Daniel B\"uring},
   title =     {Pronouns},
   booktitle = {Semantics: An International Handbook of Natural Language
   publisher = {Mouton De Gruyter},
   year =      2011,
   editor =    {\Heusinger{}, Klaus and Claudia Maienborn and Paul Portner},
   pages =     {971--996},
   address =   {Berlin},
   series =    {Handb\"ucher zur Sprach- und Kommunikationswissenschaft /
		Handbooks of Linguistics and Communication Science},
   number =    {33/2},

"Binding", "Focus", "Topic and Comment"

In: Patrick Colm Hogan (ed) The Cambridge Encyclopedia of the Language Sciences

Three two-page encyclopedia entries.


   author =    {Daniel B\"uring},
   title =     {Binding},
   booktitle = {The Cambridge Encyclopedia of the Language Sciences},
   publisher = {Cambridge University Press},
   year =      {2011},
   editor =    {Patrick Colm Hogan},
   pages =     {128},
   address =   {Cambridge},

   author =    {Daniel B\"uring},
   title =     {Focus},
   booktitle = {The Cambridge Encyclopedia of the Language Sciences},
   publisher = {Cambridge University Press},
   year =      {2011},
   editor =    {Patrick Colm Hogan},
   pages =     {312},
   address =   {Cambridge},

   author =    {Daniel B\"uring},
   title =     {Topic and Comment},
   booktitle = {The Cambridge Encyclopedia of the Language Sciences},
   publisher = {Cambridge University Press},
   year =      {2011},
   editor =    {Patrick Colm Hogan},
   pages =     {866},
   address =   {Cambridge},


"Conditional Exhaustivity Presuppositions in Clefts (And Definites)"

Draft, ZAS/Vienna.

Some puzzling facts about exhaustivity in clefts are laid out, and an idea for how to get them right is sketched. This ms. is superseded by Büring & Kriz 2013.

Download (updated version 2011)
   author =  {Daniel B\"uring},
   title =   {Conditional Exhaustivity Presuppositions in Clefts (And
   journal = {Ms. ZAS/Vienna},
   year =    2011,


"Towards a Typology of Focus Realization"
in: Malte Zimmermann & Caroline Féry (eds) Information Structure. OUP

I try to squeeze existing analyses of focus realization done in  intonational phonology, prosodic phonology, OT syntax, and some more into a unified framework of prominence based focus realization (Truckenbrodt 1996). The paper follows the general lines of Gutierrez-Bravo & Büring (2001), but tackles a much wider variety of languages and language types, including Hungarian, Italian, Chichewa, Japanese, and Bengali. I also talk about some rather puzzling phenomena in the Chadic languages Guruntum and Hausa, based on work I did with Katharina Hartmann and Malte Zimmermann in Berlin. This paper is more programmatic than conclusive, and hopefully will inspire more work in this direction.

   author =    {Daniel B\"uring},
   title =     {Towards a Typology of Focus Realization},
   booktitle = {Information Structure},
   editor = {Malte Zimmermann and Caroline F\'ery},
   year =      {2009},
   publisher = {Oxford University Press},
   address = {Oxford},
   pages = {177--205},


"What's New (and What's Given) in the Theory of Focus"
Proceedings of BLS 2008 (published 2012)

The paper develops a theory of focusing and focus domain construction that is based on the principle Maximize Anaphoricity (similar to that proposed in Williams' 1997 LI paper), which is formally spelled out. The resulting focusings lead to the same accent patterns as Schwarzschild's (1999) Givenness account, but different F-markings in the representation. It is then shown that the interpretation of focus in the system can be strengthened to include a notion of Contrast, as urged in Wagner's (2007) SALT paper, something which is problematic within the Schwarzschild 1999 system. Finally, I review a set of examples brought up in Kehler's (2006) SALT paper and show their treatment is easily achieved within the theory proposed.


   author =   {Daniel B\"uring},
   title =    {What's New (and What's Given) in the Theory of Focus?},
   crossref = {BLS34},
   pages =    {403--424},
   author =    {},
   title =     {Proceedings of the Thirty-Fourth Annual Meeting of the
		Berkeley Linguistics Society, February 8--10 2008},
   publisher = {Berkeley Linguistics Society},
   year =      2012,
   address =   {Berkeley, {CA}},
   booktitle = {Proceedings of the Thirty-Fourth Annual Meeting of the
		Berkeley Linguistics Society, February 8--10 2008},
   editor =    {Sarah Berson and Alex Bratkievich and Daniel Bruhn and Amy
		Campbell, Ramon Escamilla and Allegra Giovine and Lindsey
		Newbold and Marilola Perez, Marta Piqueras-Brunet and Russell

"Comparative Sandwichology"
To appear in the proceedings of WECOL 2007

I demonstrate that sandwich scenarios as discussed for least-superlatives in Sharvit & Stateva (2002) have a parallel in less-comparatives, contrary to what is concluded by these authors. I then search for an analysis that circumvents the problem such scenarios pose for traditional degree based theories and develop two approaches, one based on degree intervals, including `negative' intervals as in Heim (2006), one based on individuals, as in Sharvit & Stateva's superlative semantics. Both are shown to be problematic, though for entirely different reasons. The upshot of the paper is that Sharvit & Stateva's argument in favor of their superlative semantics is somewhat weakened by the failure of their proposal to extend to the parallel comparative cases, but that their criticism of degree based approaches is as yet unanswered.


   author =    {Daniel B\"uring},
   title =     {Comparative Sandwichology},
   booktitle = {Proeceedings of WECOL 2007},
   year =      2007,
   editor =    {},
   pages =     {},
   address =   {},

"Be Bound or be Disjoint" (with Andrew Kehler)
To appear in the proceedings of NELS 38

We outline a new approach to  `missing readings' phenomena in VP ellipsis (like Dahl's "John thinks he loves his wife and Bill does too"), which is based on Questions Under Discussion. We present a range of new data that show analogous effects, in particular sentences with `only' like "Only Sue said that she likes her appartment" (which can't entail `no other x said that Sue likes x's appartment'), but also questions, certain plural readings, VP deaccenting a.o. Our approach is based on a disjointness presupposition that comes with bound pronouns, and the idea that (parallel) utterances are answers to (possibly implicit) QUDs.


   author =    {Kehler, Andrew and Daniel B\"uring},
   title =     {Be Bound or Be Disjoint!},
   booktitle = {Proceedings of the 38th Meeting of the North East Linguistic
                Society (NELS)},
   year =      2008,

"The Least at least Can Do"
Paper presented at WCCFL 26 (2007), UC Berkeley. 

Info:  A new meaning for the number modifier at least is proposed. At least n is argued to mean `n or more'. Taken together with independently observable implicatures of disjunction (global as well as local, as recently agued e.g. in Klinedinst's UCLA dissertation) this yields the correct implicature for sentences containing at least, including its puzzling interaction with modal verbs (recently discussed in Geurts & Nouwen's work). 12 pages.
This paper is part of a larger paper that also discusses at most, which I hope to post soon.


   author =    {Daniel B\"uring},
   title =     {The Least {\em at least\/} Can Do},
   booktitle = {Proceedings of the 26th West Coast Conference on Formal
   address = {Somerville, MA},
   publisher = {Cascadilla Proceedings Project},  
   year =      2008,
   pages = {114--120},
   editor = {Charles B. Chang and Hannah J. Haynie},  


"Cross-Polar Nomalies"

In: Proceedings of Semantics and Linguistics Theory 17.

I observe that positive and negative adjectives can be successfully compared, as in The ladder is shorter than the house is high. I proposed to analyze these via re-analyzing shorter as `less long'. The analysis is formally implemented and an alternative is discussed, but not adopted. The analysis proposed here is the same argued for on independent grounds in "More or Less" below. Paper comes complete with pictures and cool sentences about moats.

Download (proceedings version with typos corrected)
   author =    {Daniel B\"uring},
   title =     {Cross-Polar Nomalies},
   booktitle = {Proceedings of Semantics and Linguistics Theory 17},
   address = {http://elanguage.net/journals/salt/issue/archive},
   year =      2007,
   pages = {37--52},

"More  or Less"

Paper presented at the Chicago Linguistic Society Meeting 2007 (under the title "When less Is more (and When It Isn't)"). To appear in the proceedings (though probably shortened).

Info: I propose a new analysis of ambiguities in less-comparatives and (mo)re-comparatives with negative As like short, poor etc., originally discussed in Rullmann (1995) and recently Heim (2006). The less-comparative is alternatively interpreted as the  `more'-comparative of the antonymous adjective (and the other way around). Using naturally occuring data with modals in the than-clause, I argue that this analysis is better suited to the data than previous ones.
The analysis proposed here is the same argued for on independent grounds in  "Cross Polar Nomalies" above.



   author =    {Daniel B\"uring},
   title =     {{\em More\/} or {\em Less\/}},
   booktitle = {Paper presented at the Chicago Linguistic Society meeting},
   address = {Chicago},
   year =      2007,

"Intonation, Semantics and Information Structure"

Info: An overview article about information structure, in particular Focus and Topic: How are they realized, what do they mean, what theories are out there, and how should we think of the interfaces involved? A good starting point for anyone who wants a summary of my ideas about information structure.


author = {Daniel B\"uring},
title =  {Intonation, Semantics andInformation Structure},
booktitle = {The Oxford Handbook of Linguistic Interfaces},

year ={2007},
publisher = {Oxford University Press}
editor = {
Gillian Ramchand and Charles Reiss},

Topic and Focus: Cross-linguistic Perspectives on Meaning and Intonation

Edited volume: Chungmin Lee and Matthew Gordon and Daniel Buring

Info: Based on papers presented at the workshop we held at the 2001 LSA institute in Santa Barbara.  Link to Springer's site for this book

   editor =    {Chungmin Lee and Matthew Gordon and Daniel B\"uring},
   title =     {Topic and Focus: Cross-linguistic Perspectives on Meaning and Intonation},
   publisher = {Springer},
   year =      2007,
   series = {Studies in Linguistics and Philosophy},
   number = 82,


"Focus Projection and Default Prominence"
In: Valeria Molnar and Susanne Winkler (eds) The Architecture of Focus

Info: In this paper I try to eliminate focus projection rules, i.e. rules that define which patterns of F(ocus)-markers in a phrase structure tree are permitted, and which are not.  I review the purpose focus projection rules serve, and argue that they comprise two very different aspects, which I call vertical and horizontal focus projection, respectively. I argue that the empirical generalizations about vertical focus projection are inaccurate, and that, upon closer inspection, no restrictions on vertical focus projection are required. I then return to horizontal focus projection to show that it can be accounted for in terms of the mapping between accents and focus, hence doesn't require separate syntactic focus projection rules.  Taken together, these two arguments suggest that focus projection rules can indeed be dispensed with.
The goal of this paper is not entirely novel, and views and arguments similar to the ones presented here have been given in particular in section 6 of Schwarzschild (1999).  I mainly try to marshal more evidence, and refine the theoretical proposal given there.

(version is slightly more comprehensive than the one that appears in the book)

   author =    {Daniel B\"uring},
   title =     {Focus Projection and Default Prominence},
   booktitle = {The Architecture of Focus},
   publisher = {Mouton De Gruyter},
   year =      2006,
   editor =    {Val\'eria Moln\'ar and Susanne Winkler},
   address = {Berlin/New York},

"Been There, Marked That --- A Tentative Theory of Second Occurrence Focus"


Info: I attempt to formulate a theory of focus representation (in the syntax) and focus realization (the focus-to-prosody mapping) that can handle ordinary focus as well as so-called second occurrence focus (2OF), i.e. a repeated focus that is marked by lengthening, but lacks a pitch accent. I propose to use the notion of `domain of a focus' to predict both when a focus will be realized as a 2OF, and why it is realized in that way. The account advocated blends the focus theories of Rooth (1992) and Schwarzschild (1999), and the focus realization theories of Truckenbrodt (1999) and my own earlier work (32 pages).
NOTE: This version is only here for historical accuracy, and because it contains some appendices not found elsewhere. It is superseded by the (finally!) published version here.

  author = {Daniel B\"uring},
  title = {Been There, Marked That --- A Tentative Theory of Second Occurrence Focus}.
  journal = {Ms. UCLA},
  year = 2006,

"Intonation und Informationsstruktur"
Proceedings of the IDS Annual Meeting 2005

Info: Dieser Aufsatz gibt eine eher informelle Zusammenfassung neuerer Ideen zum Thema Fokus und (kontrastives) Topik, vornehmlich im Deutschen. Schwarzschilds Theorie der Gegebenheit, und meine eigene zu kontrastiven Topiks werden kurz dargestellt und anhand von deutschen Beispielen illustriert. Besondere Beachtung wird den Fragen gewidmet, wie diese Kategorien zur Vermittlung neuer Information benutzt werdern können, und wie sie sich in geschriebenen Texten niederschlagen. Ziel ist es, diese recht sparsame Theorie auch für Linguisten, die nicht im formalen Rahmen arbeiten, zugänglich und plausibel zu machen.
Info: A summary of current thinking on Focus and Topic, illustrated with German examples.

Download  (this version is slightly longer than the one that will appear in the proceedings)

   author =    {Daniel B\"uring},
   title =     {Intonation und Informationsstruktur},
   booktitle = {Text --- Verstehen. Grammatik und dar\"uber hinaus},
   address =   {Berlin/New York},
   publisher = {de Gruyter},
 editor = {Bl\"uhdorn, H. and E. Breindl and U.H. Wa\ss{}ner},
   year =      2006,
   pages = 144--163,


"Bound to Bind"

Linguistic Inquiry 36:2. 259-274.

Info: Two familiar ideas in the theory of binding are explored: That semantic binding is preferred over coreference (Reinhart 1983), and that (pronoun) binding seeks the closest antecedent (Fox).  It is shown that both proposals, when combined, yield an alternative and arguably  simpler approach to the co-binding facts discussed  in Heim (1993), but that neither alone does (contrary to what is suggested by Fox (2000)).  Then a unification of both ideas is proposed.  


author = {Daniel B\"uring},
title =  {Bound to Bind},
journal ={Linguistic Inquiry},
year = {2005},
volume = {36},
number = {2},
pages = {259--274}

Binding Theory

(2005) Cambridge Textbooks in Linguistics. Cambridge University Press.

Info: An advanced level textbook. I present the standard syntactic theory of binding (Conditions A-C), and numerous extensions thereof (Dalrymple's classification of binding domains, Reinhart's Coreference Rule, Pollard & Sag's exempt anaphora etc.). Moreover, a completely explicit semantics for interpreting binding is provided, starting from a simple extensional system to interpret indices on referencial expressions, up to one that includes semantic binding, multiple indexing, individual concepts (Heimian guises), plurals and reciprocals. While the book presents almost exclusively proposals from the published literature, it probably provides the most comprehensive semantic treatment of binding, aiming to integrate various proposals into a uniform formalism.(See the `Links' section of my main page.)

check it out

author = {Daniel B\"{u}ring},
title =  {Binding Theory},
publisher = {Cambridge University Press},
year ={2005},
address ={Cambridge},
series = {Cambridge Textbooks in Linguistics}


"Negative Inversion"
Proceedings of NELS 2004

Info: I discuss semantic and some syntactic properties of Negative Inversion in English (e.g. Under no circumstances did Rafaella want to stay behind). Looking at cases of apparent optionality, such as With no job would John be happy versus With no job, John would be happy (originally discussed by Klima 1964 and Liberman 1974), I propose a specific analysis of the SAI construction vis-a-vis its cousin, plain topicalization. Of special interest are downward entailing quantifiers such as in less than 30 lockers (not, to my knowledge, previously discussed in the literature), which, too, allow inverted and non-inverted fronting, which results in a contrast between distributive and cumulative readings (the latter are analyzed along the lines of Landman's (2004) recent treatment).


author = {Daniel B\"uring},
title = {Negative Inversion},
booktitle = {Proceedings of NELS},
year = 2004,

"Focus Suppositions"
Theoretical Linguistics 30:1. 65-76

Info: This paper is a commentary on a target article by Geurts & van der Sandt called `Interpreting Focus'.  The perennial question is whether focus introduces an existential presupposition. The long and short of it is: it doesn't.


author =  {Daniel B\"uring},
title ={Focus Suppositions},
journal = {Theoretical Linguistics},
year = 2004,
volume = 30,
number = 1,
pages = {65--76},

"Crossover Situations"

Natural Language Semantics 12:1. 23-62

Info: Revised and much extended version of my SALT 2001 paper. I follow a suggestion in Bach&Partee (1980) to analyze the bound pronoun him in sentences like everyboy's mother likes him and some person from every city likes it as paycheck pronouns (here: her son and his city,  respectively).  I demonstrate how such an approach affords an elegant treatment of weak cross-over.  I then show that a direct implementation of this idea yields incorrect truth conditions.  A refined implementation using quantification over minimal situations along the lines of Heim (1990) is proposed, which can handle the problematic cases and captures the cross-over  facts


author =  {Daniel B\"uring},
title ={Crossover Situations},
journal = {Natural Language Semantics},
volume =  12,
number =  1,
pages ={23-62},
year = {2004},


"On D-Trees, Beans, and B-Accents".

Linguistics & Philosophy 26:5. 511-545

Info: A thoroughly revised analysis of topic and focus phenomena. I use what I call Discourse Trees to model complex contexts. Topic, focus, and deaccenting are pragmatically interpreted w.r.t. to these. 


author =  {Daniel B\"{u}ring},
title ={On D-Trees, Beans, and B-Accents},
year = {2003},
journal = {Linguistics \& Philosophy},
volume =  26,
number =  5,
pages ={511-545}


"Orphan Attributes"

In: Mikkelsen, Line & Christopher Potts (eds) Proceedings of WCCFL21. Cascadilla Press.

Info: This paper draws attention to a phenomenon that has, to the best of my knowledge, not been discussed in the literature: Stranding of nominal attributes after relativization of the DP they belong to (e.g. die Argumente, die wir gegen seine Theorie gehört haben, `the arguments we heard against his theory').  It is concluded  that relative clauses must have a complex internal head, though not necessarily a lexical one (14 pages)


author = {Daniel B\"uring},

title =  {Orphan Attributes},
booktitle = {Proceedings of the 21st West Coast Conference on
Formal Linguistics (WCCFL},
year =2002,
editor = {Line Mikkelsen and Christopher Potts},

publisher = {Cascadilla Press},


"A Situation Semantics for Binding out of DP"

In: Hastings, Rachel & Brendan Jackson & Zsofia Zvolensky (eds)Proceedings of Semantics and Linguistic Theory XI. Ithaca: CLC Publications,Cornell.

Info: In this paper I follow a suggestion in Bach&Partee (1980) to analyze the bound pronoun him in sentences like everyboy's mother likes him and some person from every city likes it as paycheck pronouns (here: her sonand his city,  respectively). I demonstrate how such an approach affords an elegant treatment of weak cross-over. I then show that a direct implementation of this idea yields incorrect truth conditions.  A refined implementation using quantification over minimal situations along the lines of Heim (1990) is proposed, which can handle the problematic cases and captures the cross-over  facts (24 pages). Note that a much more elaborated version of his paper is published as `Crossover Situations' (2004, see above).


author = {Daniel B\"{u}ring},
title =  {A Situation Semantics for Binding out of DP},
booktitle = {Proceedings from Semantics and Linguistic Theory XI},
editor = {Rachel Hastings and Brendan Jackson and Zsofia Zvolenski},

address ={Ithaca},

publisher = {CLC},

year =2001,
pages =  {56-75},

"Discourse-Trees and Dynamic Updates". Manuscript.

Info: Some thoughts on how a system like that of "On D-Trees..." would have to be set  up in an update semantics framework (10 pages)


author =  {Daniel B\"uring},
title ={Discourse Trees and Dynamic Updates},
note = {Ms. UCLA},
year = 2001,

"The Syntax and Semantics of  Focus-Sensitive Particles in German".

with K. Hartmann

Natural Language and Linguistic Theory19:229-281.

Info: We propose a comprehensive account of both the distribution and interpretation of German focus particles such as nur, auch and sogar ('only', 'also', 'even'). We argue that they always adjoin to non- arguments (in recent terms this means that they can adjoin to VPs, IPs, APs and root CPs, but never to argument DPs or argument CPs), and that they do not undergo LF raising. Presenting a range of mostly new data and observations, we show how this theory accounts for a variety of puzzling distributional facts with adverbial and ad- adjectival PRTs, their specific interpretations, and their behavior w.r.t. scoping, in particular reconstruction (30 pages).

Download (this is a pre-final version with a different title, but essentially the same paper)

author =  {Daniel B\"uring and Katharina Hartmann},
title ={The Syntax and Semantics of Focus-Sensitive Particles in German},
journal = {Natural Language and Linguistic Theory},
volume =  19,
pages ={229-281},
year = 2001,

"Focus Related Word Order Variation Without the NSR: A Prosody-Based Crosslinguistic Analysis"

with Rodrigo Gutiérrez-Bravo

in: Séamas Mac Bhloscaidh (ed.) Syntax at Santa Cruz 3. 41-58

Info: This paper completes the trilogy started with "Let's Phrase It!"and "What Do Definites Do...". It uses the same OT machinery for the syntax-prosody mapping to derive some basic stress-related worder order variation facts in English, German and Spanish (18 pages).

Download updated version (2002)

author = {Daniel B\"uring and Rodrigo Guti\'errez-Bravo},

title =  {Focus-related word order variation without the NSR: A
prosody-based crosslinguistic analysis},
booktitle = {Syntax at Santa Cruz 3},

editor = {S\'eamas Mac Bhloscaidh},
pages =  {41-58},

"Let's Phrase It! -- Focus, Word Order, and Prosodic Phrasing in GermanDouble Object Constructions".

In: Müller, G. & W. Sternefeld (eds) Competition in Syntax. (= Studies in Generative Grammar 49). Berlin & New York: de Gruyter. 69-105.

Info: A case study in focus related word order variation. It is argued that focus does not interact with word order at all, but only with prosody,and that, accordingly, all focus related word order variation is really related to prosodic structure. I propose a number of constraints on prosodic structure and its relation to syntax, as well as one focus related constraint, FocusProminence, and show how these interact to derive the well-known word order variation facts in the German Mittelfeld. The paper is couched within an optimality framework (39 pages).


author = {Daniel B\"uring},

title =  {Let's Phrase It!---Focus, Word Order, and Prosodic Phrasing in German Double Object Constructions},
pages =  {101-137},
editor = {Gereon M\"{u}ller and Wolfgang Sternefeld},

booktitle = {Competition in Syntax},

series = {Studies in Genitive Grammar},

number = 49,
publisher = {de Gruyter},

year =2001,

address ={Berlin \& New York},


"What Do Definites Do That Indefinites Definitely Don't?"

In: Féry, C. & W. Sternefeld (eds) Audiatur Vox Sapentiae - A Festschrift for Arnim von Stechow. (=studia grammatica 52). Berlin:Akademie Verlag. 70-100.

Info: This is the twin paper to the above, using the same OT formalism, but devoted to a different issue: The definite/indefinite distinction,and among the indefinites, the generic/existential distinction (29 pages).


author = {Daniel B\"{u}ring},

title =  {What do Definites do that Indefinites Definitely don't?},
series = {studia grammatica},

number = 52,
editor = {Caroline F\'{e}ry and Wolfgang Sternefeld},

booktitle =  {Audiatur Vox Sapientiae: A Festschrift for Arnim von Stechow},

publisher = {Akademie Verlag},

year =2001,
pages =  {70-100},



"Aren't Positive and Negative Polar Questions the Same?"

with Ch. Gunlogson

Manuscript UCSC/UCLA.

Info: Some remarks and generalizations about different varieties of negative questions, such as the one in the title (the answer to which, too, is negative) (14 pages).


author =  {Daniel B\"uring and Christine Gunlogson},

title ={Aren't Positive and Negative Polar Questions the Same?},

year = 2000,
note = {UCSC/UCLA},




In: Bosch, Peter & Rob van der Sandt (eds)(1999) Focus -- Linguistic, Cognitive, and Computational Perspectives. CUP. 142-165 (revised version of the paper in Bosch, P. & R.v.d.Sandt (eds)(1994) Focus & Natural Language Processing. Vol.2. IBM Heidelberg. 271-280)

Info: A short presentation of the theory of focus/topic as developed in my dissertation (see below). I argue that there is a maximally tripartite information structure, consisting of Topic, Background, and Focus (24 pages).


author = {Daniel B\"{u}ring},

title =  {Topic},
editor = {Peter Bosch and Rob van der Sandt},
booktitle = {Focus --- Linguistic, Cognitive, and Computational Perspectives},
publisher = {Cambridge University Press},
pages =  {142-165},

year =1999,



"Identity, Modality, and the Candidate Behind the Wall".

Proceedings of SALT 8.Ithaca, NY: Cornell University LinguisticPublications.

Info: An investigation into the semantics and syntax of identity constructions. In particular, I compare constructions of the type 'It could bethe seamstress from Goslar' to those of the type 'She could be the seamstress from Goslar'. It is argued that modal quantification over assignment function does not provide the correct analysis for either of these constructions.  (19 pages).


author = {Daniel B\"uring},

title =  {Identity, Modality, and the Candidate Behind the Wall},
booktitle = {Proceedings of Semantics and Linguistic Theory (SALT) 8},
year =1998,
editor = {Devon Strolovich and Aaron Lawson},

address ={Ithaca, NY},

publisher = {CLC Publications},

year =1998,

pages =  {36-54},


"Asymmetrische Koordination".

with Katharina Hartmann

Linguistische Berichte 174. 172-201

Info: We present a number of new data around so called subject gap coordination in German (i.e. coordinated structures with a subjectless verb-initial second conjunct) and propose to analyze them as adjunction structures (34 pages).


author =  {Daniel B\"uring and Katharina Hartmann},

title ={Asymmetrische Koordination},

journal = {Linguistische Berichte},

year = 1998,

pages ={172-201},

number =  174,




The Meaning of Topic and Focus - The 59th Street Bridge Accent.

London: Routledge.

Info: (revision of my dissertation) I propose a theory of information structure, based on and relating prosodic and pragmatic effects. An extension of Rooth's (1985) framework is developed an applied to various phenomena of German and English.

author = {Daniel B\"{u}ring},
title =  {The Meaning of Topic and Focus --- The 59\(^{th}\) Street Bridge Accent},
publisher = {Routledge},
year =1997,
address ={London},

"The Great Scope Inversion Conspiracy".

Linguistics & Philosophy 20. 175- 194.

Info: Using the theory proposed in my dissertation, the paper explores how prosody, syntax and lexical semantics conspire to allow or disallow inverse scoping of nominal quantifiers and adverbials (including negation) (17 pages).


author =  {Daniel B\"{u}ring},
title ={The Great Scope Inversion Conspiracy},
journal = {Linguistics \& Philosophy},
year = 1997,
pages ={175-194},
volume =  20,

" Doing the right thing".

with K. Hartmann

The Linguistic Review 14. 1-42.

Info: The paper presents a detailed discussion of embedded clause extrapositionand its interaction with various other constructions and phenomena. We show that in German (and presumably in other germanic languages as well) extraposed clauses are not hierarchically lower than the material preceding them, strongly arguing against theories like Haider 1993 and Kayne 1994. We present and defend a 'traditional' rightward movement analysis of extraposition(36 pages).


author =  {Daniel B\"uring and Katharina Hartmann},
title ={Doing the right thing},
journal = {The Linguistic Review},
year = 1997,
pages ={1-42},
volume =  14,




Sprachwissenschaft in Frankfurt 17. Frankfurt, Main.

Info: A detailed introduction to Chomskian economy theory as proposed in the Minimalist Program.

     author = {Daniel B\"uring},
     title =  {Economy},
     publisher = {Sprachwissenschaft in Frankfurt 17},
     year =1996,
     address ={Frankfurt an Main},

"A Weak Theory of Strong Readings"

In: Proceedings of SALT VI. Ithaca, NY: Cornell University LinguisticPublications.

Info: A plea to derive so-called strong readings of NPs from the interaction of various prosodic/pragmatic phenomena with a standard semantics for the articles, instead of assuming lexical ambiguities, association betweensyntactic position and reading, or specific rules of LF construal (18 pages).


author = {Daniel B\"uring},

title =  {A Weak Theory of Strong Readings},
booktitle = {Proceedings of Semantics and Linguistic Theory (SALT) 6},
address ={Ithaca, NY},
editor = {Teresa Galloway and Justin Spence},
publisher = {CLC Publications},
year =1996,
pages =  {17-34},

"On Drinking, Accents, and Negation".

In the Proceedings of the 1995 Amherst Focus Workshop.

Info: Topic theory applied to examples of the kind 'He does not/NOT drinkbecause he's unHAppy.'

author = {Daniel B\"uring}
title =  {Drinking, Accents, and Negation},
pages =  {37-50},
booktitle = {Proceedings of Workshop on Focus},
editor = {Elena Benedicto and Maribel Romero and Satoshi Tomioka},
publisher = {GLSA},
series = {University of Massachusetts Occasional Papers in Linguistics},
number = 21,
address ={UMass, Amherst},
year =1996,



"On the Base Position of Embedded Clauses in German"

LinguistischeBerichte 159. 370-380.

author =  {Daniel B\"uring},
title ={On the Base Position of Embedded Clauses in German},
journal = {Linguistische Berichte},
year = 1995,
pages ={370-380},
number =  159,

"Is it [only Rock'n Roll] Or Just Like It?"

with K. Hartmann

In: Camacho, José & Lina Choueiri & Maki Watanabe (eds)Proceedings of the Fourteenth West Coast Conference on Formal Linguistics.Stanford: CSLI Publications. 63-77.

[the claims and data discussed in this paper can all be found in B&H2001]

author = {Daniel B\"uring and Katharina Hartmann},
title =  {Is it [only Rock'n Roll] Or Just Like It?},
booktitle = {Proceedings of the Fourteenth West Coast Conference on Formal Linguistics (WCCFL)},
editor = {Jos\'e Camacho and Lina Choueiri and Maki Watanabe},
year =1995,
address ={Stanford},
publisher = {CSLI Publications},
pages =  {63-77},




Hürth: Gabel (=KLAGE Nr.27).

Info: In German, on German argument structure -- syntax mapping.

author = {Daniel B\"uring},
title =  {Linking},
publisher = {Gabel},
year =1992,
address ={H\"urth},
note ={(= K\"olner Linguistische Arbeiten zur Germanistik (KLAGE) 17)},


author =  {Daniel B\"uring},
title ={{Review of Frajzyngier, Zygmunt, and Traci S. Curl, eds. {\em Reflexives: Forms and Functions} and {\em Reciprocals: Forms and Functions}},
journal = {The Linguist List},
number =  121786,
year = 2001,

author =  {Daniel B\"uring},
title ={Review of Winkler, Susanne (1997) {\em Focus and Secondary Predication}},
pages ={417-435},
journal = {Journal of Semantics},
year = 1998,

author =  {Daniel B\"uring},
title ={Review of P.H. Matthews (1993) `Grammatical Theory in the United States from Bloomfield to Chomsky'},
journal = {Linguistische Berichte},
year = 1994,
pages ={396-400},
number =  153,

author =  {Daniel B\"uring},
title ={Review of von Stechow/Wunderlich (eds) {\em Semantik --- Ein internationales Handbuch zeitgen\"ossischer Forschung}},
volume =  12,
pages ={133-145},
journal = {Zeitschrift f\"ur Sprachwissenschaft},
year = 1993,