Syntactic Aspects of Topic and Comment

André Meinunger | Zentrum für Allgemeine Sprachwissenschaft, Berlin
ISBN 9789027227591 (Eur) | EUR 110.00
ISBN 9781556199899 (USA) | USD 165.00
ISBN 9789027299185 | EUR 110.00 | USD 165.00
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The book focuses on the syntactic behavior of argument noun phrases depending on their discourse status. The main language of consideration is German, but it is shown that the observations can be carried over to other languages. The claim is that discourse-new arguments remain inside the VP where they are base generated. The hierarchy of argument projection is claimed to be fix within and across languages. With the major attention to direct objects it is then argued that discourse-old, here called topical noun phrases undergo raising to agreement projections. This movement can be realized differently: scrambling, object agreement, clitic-doubling, differences in morphological case and stress pattern turn out to be analyzable as one underlying phenomenon. It is furthermore shown that many so-called subject:object asymmetries boil down to topic:non-topic differences, for example with respect to extraction. Thus, irrespectively of the argumental status discourse-new constituents do not act as barriers whereas topical arguments create (weak) islands.
[Linguistik Aktuell/Linguistics Today, 38] 2000.  xii, 245 pp.
Publishing status: Available
Table of Contents
Cited by

Cited by 22 other publications

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Guijarro, Arsenio Jesús Moya
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2002. Focus and antifocus in Modern Afrikaans and West Germanic. Linguistics 40:6 DOI logo
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[no author supplied]

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Main BIC Subject

CF: Linguistics

Main BISAC Subject

LAN009000: LANGUAGE ARTS & DISCIPLINES / Linguistics / General
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U.S. Library of Congress Control Number:  00064205 | Marc record