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emphasis

Posted: Thu Apr 08, 2021 2:32 am
by navi
1) He has lived in London since his father passed away.
2) Since his father passed away, he has lived in London.

I think those sentences can be used in two different cases:
a) He started living in London when his father passed away and has lived in London since.
b) He was living in London before his father passed away and has kept on living in London since.

Would '1' be spoken the same way in both cases, or would the emphasis change?

Gratefully,
Navi

Re: emphasis

Posted: Thu Apr 08, 2021 6:45 am
by Erik_Kowal
Purely because of the apparent emphasis given to the temporal aspect in 2), I would tentatively link 1) with b) and 2) with a). But the context in which the utterance is embedded would be the chief guide to the intended meaning.

As far as the emphasis is concerned, if the intention was to underscore the interpretations that I inferred, I personally would place particular emphasis on "London" in sentence 1) and "father" in sentence 2). However, other speakers might not necessarily do this; and there are also varying shades of meaning that could be conveyed by subtle differences of emphasis. Unfortunately it is almost impossible to demonstrate and explain them purely using written text.

Re: emphasis

Posted: Fri Apr 09, 2021 9:45 pm
by Phil White
Either form can have either meaning, and I cannot see any way of stressing the utterance that would make the precise meaning clear. As Erik says, it is only pragmatics that might reveal the meaning. But perhaps there is nothing in the discourse or situation that disambiguates the meaning. In that case, any reader or listener would assume that meaning a is intended. Meaning b really is rather abstruse.