Fronting, dislocation, and the syntactic role of discourse-related features
This paper focuses on the syntactic role of the features related to discourse and information structure. It is argued that information-structure notions are encoded in syntax as syntactic features projecting their own phrase structure, and are fundamental in accounting for cross-linguistic variation. The word order alternations and syntactic operations which are strictly dependent on the discourse/informational properties of the sentence, as well as the different grammatical properties characterizing different information-structure categories, can all be related to the syntactic role of discourse-related features, the functional projections with which they are associated, and the type of movement that these features trigger. Under this view, this paper offers an analysis of fronting and dislocation phenomena in Romance, which entails that variation with respect to these processes is correlated to the activation and to the attraction properties of the functional projections encoding information-structure distinctions. Keywords: discourse-related features; information structure; functional projections; topic; informational focus; contrastive focus; Romance; Sicilian
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