Article published in:Usage-based and Typological Approaches to Linguistic Units
Edited by Tsuyoshi Ono, Ritva Laury and Ryoko Suzuki
[Studies in Language 43:2] 2019
► pp. 469–497
Reversed ang-inversion and narrow focus marking in Tagalog
In Tagalog, an argument that is in narrow focus can be fronted to the clause initial position, deviating from the default verb-initial word order. This so-called ang-inversion has been claimed to be obligatory (Nagaya, 2007) or at least the go-to strategy (Kaufman, 2005) of encoding narrow focus. There is, however, an alternative that has so far received little attention in the literature: reversed ang-inversion. Structurally, this construction can be understood as the result of combining two inversion constructions: ang-inversion and ay-inversion. As a consequence, the focal constituent appears at the end of the sentence rather than at the beginning.This article presents spoken data elicited during field work as well as written data on reversed ang-inversion. Comparing the use of regular and reversed ang-inversion indicates that discourse-structural considerations play an important role in construction choice between the two.
Keywords: Tagalog, information structure, focus, inversion constructions, fronting constructions, syntax-discourse interface
Published online: 13 November 2019
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