Focus-related Operations at the Right Edge in Spanish
Subjects and Ellipsis
Syntactic movement is a pervasive phenomenon in natural language and, as such, has played a key role in syntactic theorizing. Nonetheless, an understanding of the mechanism that allows a constituent to appear to the right of its base-generated position has remained elusive. This groundbreaking research monograph aims to address this gap in our knowledge by expanding the inventory of languages and data sets traditionally considered in the literature. Specifically, Ortega-Santos analyzes the interplay between focus, word order and ellipsis in Spanish. A major finding that emerges from the analysis is that the tension between linearization requirements and rightward movement is diminished by ellipsis. Current debates on the syntax of the VOS order and preverbal subjects in Null-Subject Languages also figure prominently in the discussion, as novel empirical evidence for the existence of null expletives is provided: a non-trivial issue for our understanding of the Extended Projection Principle and subjecthood across languages.
[Issues in Hispanic and Lusophone Linguistics, 7] 2016. xii, 204 pp.
Publishing status: Available
© John Benjamins
Table of Contents
Chapter 1. Introduction
Chapter 2. An overview of the syntax of focus in Spanish
Chapter 3. The syntax of corrective focus at the right edge
Chapter 4. Rightward movement under ellipsis
Chapter 5. Conclusion
“Focus is a notoriously difficult phenomenon to study, involving syntactic, phonological and discourse properties. In this book Ortega-Santos examines focus in Spanish, providing novel analyses of two quite understudied manifestations of focus, namely corrective focus at the right edge and rightward movement focus in ellipsis constructions. In so doing, he brings new evidence and arguments to bear on various questions of interest to theoretical syntacticians, such as the nature of the relationship between C and T and the computation of phases. He also tackles the long-standing debate on the status of the Extended Projection Principle in Spanish. His analysis of the relationship beween rightward focus and ellipsis represents a significant contribution to our understanding of the interaction between narrow syntactic processes and PF-driven requirements on the linearization of phrases. It is a work that cannot be ignored by anyone interested in how syntax may be shaped by so-called third factors such as information structure and phonological demands.”
Paula Kempchinsky, University of Iowa
“This monograph presents virtually everything you wanted to know about the right edge of Spanish clauses but were afraid to ask. Ortega-Santos goes well beyond focus constructions (into elliptical remnants, topicalization, the pre-verbal field, and more) in a precise, lucid and far-reaching way. The book will be relevant not just to Romance linguists, but to grammarians in general as well as to students of language that enjoy the careful lens of comparative studies - particularly those who appreciate theoretical import at large. A must read for specialists and a most enjoyable piece for the rest of us.”
Juan Uriagereka, University of Maryland, College Park
“This book is an important contribution to the subfield of (Ibero-)Romance syntax in particular and syntactic theory in general. Readers will appreciate the derivational steps and syntactic trees that the author provides to guide them through the syntactic operations proposed. The analysis is innovative in proposing an OT account of rightward movement, a phenomenon that has proven to be stubbornly problematic for a generative, phased-based approach. I feel that the author motivates the approach well, and from there, lets the data drive the analysis.”
Timothy Gupton, University of Georgia, in Language 94(1): 225-228, March 2018
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