The Interaction of Focus, Givenness, and Prosody: A Study of Italian Clause Structure

Paperback | October 17, 2015

byVieri Samek-Lodovici

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This book provides an in-depth investigation of contrastive focalization in Italian, showing that its syntactic expression systematically interacts with the syntactic expression of discourse-given phrases. Vieri Samek-Lodovici disentangles the properties genuinely associated with contrastivefocalization from those determined by highly productive operations affecting discourse given phrases in Italian, namely right dislocation and marginalization. Based on a vast aggregate of evidence, he shows that in the default case contrastive focalization occurs in situ and that left-peripheralfocalization patterns arise from the interaction with right dislocation and generalize well beyond the familiar cases examined in Rizzi (1997) and most literature since. In the final chapter, the author examines how the key properties unveiled in the previous chapters, such as focalization in situ,follow from the prosodic constraints governing stress placement, thus reinterpreting and extending Zubizarreta's (1998) insight about the role of prosody in shaping syntax. Overall, the book offers an evidence-backed radical departure from current views of focalization that posit a high, fixed, focus projection at the left periphery of the clause. It also provides the most comprehensive study of Italian marginalization and right dislocation available to date.

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This book provides an in-depth investigation of contrastive focalization in Italian, showing that its syntactic expression systematically interacts with the syntactic expression of discourse-given phrases. Vieri Samek-Lodovici disentangles the properties genuinely associated with contrastivefocalization from those determined by highly ...

Vieri Samek-Lodovici is a Reader in theoretical linguistics at University College London. He has published several articles on the syntax of focalization and its interaction with prosody and discourse givenness. He has also worked on a wide range of other topics, including argument structure, agreement, optimality theory, and the relat...
Format:PaperbackDimensions:352 pages, 9.21 × 6.14 × 0.07 inPublished:October 17, 2015Publisher:Oxford University PressLanguage:English

The following ISBNs are associated with this title:

ISBN - 10:0198737939

ISBN - 13:9780198737933

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Table of Contents

1. Introduction2. Marginalization3. Contrastive focus and marginalization4. Right dislocation5. Contrastive focus and right dislocation6. The role of prosodyAppendix A: Distribution and licensing of Italian N-wordsAppendix B: Evidence for leftward right dislocationAppendix C: Irrelevance of pp phrasing for the analysis of marginalization and left-shift