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Focus, fronting and illocutionary force in Sardinian

Jones, Michael Allan (2013) 'Focus, fronting and illocutionary force in Sardinian.' Lingua, 134. pp. 75-101. ISSN 0024-3841

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Abstract

This paper challenges the standard assumption that Fronting in Sardinian is a dedicated focussing process triggered in some way by a [focus] feature of the fronted expression. This challenge is based primarily on the observation that Fronting (particularly of a predicate) is widely exploited in yes/no questions (and corresponding answers) without any discernable focus on the fronted expression. It is argued that Fronting is driven by prosody. In all other sentence-types, default nuclear stress is assigned to the final element within a 'nuclear domain' (typically the whole sentence, minus dislocated expressions) and the focus is a constituent which includes the prosodic nucleus. This generalisation can be extended to cases of Fronting if, in these constructions, the TP is excluded from the 'nuclear domain', so that some constituent must be extracted from it in order to create a domain within which nuclear stress can be assigned. Typically this gives a focus interpretation to the fronted expression, but in yes/no questions and answers, the head of the CP (or FocP) has a polarity-focus feature, which constitutes the primary focus of the sentence, allowing a non-focal interpretation of the fronted expression. © 2013 Elsevier B.V.

Item Type: Article
Uncontrolled Keywords: Sardinian; Focus; Fronting; Illocutionary force; Prosody; Syntax
Subjects: P Language and Literature > P Philology. Linguistics
Divisions: Faculty of Social Sciences
Faculty of Social Sciences > Language and Linguistics, Department of
SWORD Depositor: Elements
Depositing User: Elements
Date Deposited: 17 Nov 2014 11:34
Last Modified: 15 Jan 2022 00:29
URI: http://repository.essex.ac.uk/id/eprint/11598

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