Focus in Georgian and the expression of contrast

  • This paper examines the impact of contrastive focus in Georgian syntax. In a semi-naturalistic production study, we elicited spontaneous answers to questions which have shown that contexts involving contrastive focus induce placement of the focused constituent at the immediately preverbal position more frequently than other contexts. Based on this observation we investigate the properties of Georgian grammar which may account for the different impact of contrastive vs. non-contrastive contexts on word order. We first examine the involved syntactic structures and present evidence that preverbal focus is a result of movement to the specifier position of a functional projection whose head attracts the finite verb. We then address the question whether there is evidence for an association between contrast and movement to this position and we provide evidence that the correlation between context and order in the behavioral data does not result from a biunique form-function association of the kind 'contrast <-> move-movement to the specifierThis paper examines the impact of contrastive focus in Georgian syntax. In a semi-naturalistic production study, we elicited spontaneous answers to questions which have shown that contexts involving contrastive focus induce placement of the focused constituent at the immediately preverbal position more frequently than other contexts. Based on this observation we investigate the properties of Georgian grammar which may account for the different impact of contrastive vs. non-contrastive contexts on word order. We first examine the involved syntactic structures and present evidence that preverbal focus is a result of movement to the specifier position of a functional projection whose head attracts the finite verb. We then address the question whether there is evidence for an association between contrast and movement to this position and we provide evidence that the correlation between context and order in the behavioral data does not result from a biunique form-function association of the kind 'contrast <-> move-movement to the specifier position', but from an asymmetry at a discourse level such that contexts involving contrast induce answers in which focused constituents occupy the stressed position in the clause more often than contexts that do not.show moreshow less

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Metadaten
Author:Stavros Skopeteas, Gisbert FanselowGND
URL:http://www.sciencedirect.com/science/journal/00243841
DOI:https://doi.org/10.1016/j.lingua.2008.10.012
ISSN:0024-3841
Document Type:Article
Language:English
Year of first Publication:2010
Year of Completion:2010
Release Date:2017/03/25
Source:Lingua. - ISSN 0024-3841. - 120 (2010), 6, S. 1370 - 1391
Organizational units:Humanwissenschaftliche Fakultät / Strukturbereich Kognitionswissenschaften / Department Linguistik
Peer Review:Referiert