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Functional Structure from Top to ToeThe Cartography of Syntactic Structures, Volume 9$
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Peter Svenonius

Print publication date: 2014

Print ISBN-13: 9780199740390

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: December 2014

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780199740390.001.0001

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The Syntax of the Finnish Question Particle

The Syntax of the Finnish Question Particle

(p.266) Chapter 9 The Syntax of the Finnish Question Particle
Functional Structure from Top to Toe

Anders Holmberg

Oxford University Press

Finnish forms yes-no questions by adjoining the enclitic particle -ko to the first constituent in the sentence. If the question narrowly focuses on some constituent in the sentence, that constituent is fronted, and the clitic is attached to it. A common assumption in such cases is that the clitic is a C element and the focus moves to its left. However, a more careful investigation of the distribution of focus, and a comparison with the focus particle -kin, shows that such an analysis is untenable. Instead, -ko is merged with a maximal phrase KP, triggering movement of a Focused subconstituent of KP to the specifier of the -ko-phrase, before movement of the whole constituent to specCP.

Keywords:   Finnish, yes-no questions, question particle, focus, clitic, enclitic particle

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