This dissertation investigates the semantic and phonetic properties of
object foci in Greek, employing theoretical and experimental tools. The
added value of such a combination is that we achieve a better understanding
of the phenomenon under consideration. The main research question that is
addressed in this dissertation is: do preverbal object foci in Greek differ
from their postverbal counterparts?
In the first part of the thesis, Greek preverbal object foci are compared
to their postverbal counterparts with respect to exhaustivity, contrast and
discourse topichood. For this purpose, a number of tests are applied to the
Greek data. On the basis of the results of the tests, it is argued that
preverbal and postverbal object foci do not differ with respect to
exhaustivity and contrast. It is also argued that the two differ with
respect to discourse topichood. In this sense, it is shown that Greek
preverbal object foci are actually fronted discourse topics.
In the second part of the thesis, a production and two perception (one
using natural stimuli and one using manipulated stimuli) experiments were
carried out to investigate the phonetic properties of preverbal and
postverbal object foci in Greek. Moreover, a production and a perception
experiment were carried out to investigate the phonetic realization of
contrast in Greek.
This study is of relevance to anyone interested in the semantic and
phonetic properties of object foci, in tests for identifying foci and
topics or in approaches that combine theoretical and experimental means.