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The Interaction of Focus, Givenness, and ProsodyA Study of Italian Clause Structure$

Vieri Samek-Lodovici

Print publication date: 2015

Print ISBN-13: 9780198737926

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: November 2015

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780198737926.001.0001

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(p.301) Appendix B Evidence for leftward right dislocation

(p.301) Appendix B Evidence for leftward right dislocation

The Interaction of Focus, Givenness, and Prosody

Vieri Samek-Lodovici

Oxford University Press

The properties of right dislocation uncovered in this book—namely its position above TP, the optional absence of clitic-doubling, its involving movement rather than base-generation—do not determine whether right-dislocated phrases move leftwards, in antisymmetric fashion, or rightwards. They can all be captured under both analyses and after extensive testing I can attest that the same also holds—but for the two exceptions discussed below—for all other results concerning the interaction of right dislocation and focalization.

The choice between a leftward and a rightward movement analysis is thus orthogonal to the phenomena examined in this book and does not affect its main claims about the analysis of Italian contrastive focalization and its interaction with right dislocation. For these reasons, it is difficult to determine which analysis most accurately represents right dislocation. To a large extent, the choice eventually rests on the empirical and theoretical success of the antisymmetric model, which is itself being debated (e.g. Kayne 1994 vs. Büring and Hartmann 1997). Yet, this book could not be written without making such a choice. This appendix examines the two empirical observations that in my view currently favour the leftward movement analysis of right dislocation proposed in this book over a rightward movement one (but see also Frascarelli 2000, 2004). They are presented in this appendix because they crucially refer to major observations and results of Chapter 5, and thus did not fit naturally in the chapter on right dislocation.

The two analyses at issue are provided below relative to sentence (1) where the final indirect object has been dislocated out of a presentationally focused TP. In the rightward movement analysis, the indirect object is right TP-adjoined as in (2). The leftward movement analysis instead requires the two movements in (3)(a)–(b). First the indirect object is dislocated leftwards to the specifier of a projection RP located above TP (or more precisely above the extended projection headed by the verb, which coincides with TP in most cases, but might sometimes include CP), then the remnant TP is moved to the specifier of a higher projection XP, yielding the observed word order.

(1) Appendix B Evidence for leftward right dislocation


(2) Appendix B Evidence for leftward right dislocation

(3) Appendix B Evidence for leftward right dislocation

From an empirical point of view, there are two sets of data where the adopted antisymmetric analysis is superior to the right TP-adjunction one. The first set concerns rightward focus movement. Consider (4). Sentence (a) shows a contrastively focused negative object licensed by the preceding neg-marker non within the sentential complement. Sentence (b) shows that this focused object can be evacuated above the matrix TP, where due to its high position it no longer needs licensing (see Appendix A). When movement to an equally high position occurs rightwards, however, the resulting sentence is ungrammatical, see (c).

(4) Appendix B Evidence for leftward right dislocation

An antisymmetric approach successfully accounts for the ungrammaticality of (4)(c). Since rightward movement is unavailable, placing the focused object NESSUNO in final position (p.303) requires first fronting it with respect to the main TP and then remnant moving the main TP above it, as shown by the two operations in (5). But as explained in Chapter 5, focus fronting relative to a constituent X can only be triggered by the right dislocation of X, which places X to the right of the fronted focus. This is clearly not the case in (4)(c) where TP occurs to the left of the focused object. Since focus fronting is not licensed, this sentence is ungrammatical.

(5) Appendix B Evidence for leftward right dislocation

Short of additional stipulations, sentence (4)(c) is instead incorrectly predicted to be grammatical under a rightward movement analysis. Since rightward movement is possible, the focused object could raise rightwards as in (6), incorrectly generating a grammatical structure for sentence (4)(c).

(6) Appendix B Evidence for leftward right dislocation

The leftward movement analysis also better accounts for the properties of right-dislocated phrases sandwiched between a fronted focus and a right-dislocated TP examined at length in Section 5.3.4 of Chapter 5, an example of which is the indirect object a Marco in sentence (7).

(p.304) When these phrases are replaced with a negative constituent, as in (8), the corresponding sentences become ungrammatical because the negative constituent is unlicensed. Note that the negative constituent is duly licensed by a c-commanding negative subject when both occur within a presentationally focused clause like (9).

A rightward TP‑adjunction analysis incorrectly predicts licensing to be possible in sentences like (8) by enabling a structure where the initial focused negative subject c‑commands the negative constituent to its right. This structure is obtained by right dislocating the indirect object con nessuno, then fronting the focused subject NESSUNO, and finally right dislocating the entire TP. This yields the structure in (8) where NESSUNO c‑commands con nessuno.

(7) Appendix B Evidence for leftward right dislocation

(8) Appendix B Evidence for leftward right dislocation

(9) Appendix B Evidence for leftward right dislocation

(10) Appendix B Evidence for leftward right dislocation

Licensing is instead correctly predicted to be impossible by the corresponding leftward movement analysis where the focused subject NESSUNO is contained within the remnant TP that raises to the specifier of the top XP projection and therefore can never c‑command the right-dislocated items following to its right.

The corresponding structure is provided in (11)(d), with (11)(a)–(c) showing the prior derivational steps (see Chapters 4 and 5 for a detailed discussion of the movement operations involved). First the focused subject and the indirect object leftward TP-adjoin in order to enable the right dislocation of the TP as an independent constituent. Then, the TP ha parlato is right dislocated to the specifier of RP. Next, the PP con nessuno is right dislocated to the specifier of a higher RP, thus eventually preceding the right-dislocated TP. Finally, the entire TP containing the focused subject is moved to the specifier of the top projection XP. (p.305)

(11) Appendix B Evidence for leftward right dislocation