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Share Paper 2406

Context-Anchoring and the Syntax of Spanish
Iván Ortega-Santos
63-74 (complete paper or proceedings contents)


It has been claimed that, in Spanish, focused phrases in the left periphery of the clause are interpreted as contrastive, whereas new information focus correlates with a rightmost position in the sentence, e.g., Zubizarreta (1998), a.o. Still, a puzzle arises if there are not two kinds of focus, i.e., contrastive or new information focus, but only a unified notion of focus (e.g., Rooth 1985, Brunetti 2003, Casielles-Suarez 2004, and Herburger 2000). This view calls for a unified syntactic approach to left-periphery and rightmost focus in Spanish (cf. Ordóñez 2000 and Etxepare and Uribe-Etxebarria 2008). In particular, it is argued that Raposo and Uriagereka's (1995) independently motivated framework of context-anchoring provides a way to account for this variation in the word order of sentences containing focused phrases, when combined with uniform movement to FocP in the case of both leftmost and rightmost focus. Under this view, (1) both new information focus and left-periphery contrastive focus are the result of movement as suggested by a number of pieces of evidence (the syntax of parasitic gaps, scope relations between the focused XP and negation, the island-behavior of adjuncts, and the syntax of overt subjects following an infinitive); (2) the rightmost/leftmost position of the focused XP follows from differential context anchoring. Additionally, some counterarguments to the remnant movement approach found in the literature (e.g., Costa 2000) are addressed.

Published in

Selected Proceedings of the 12th Hispanic Linguistics Symposium
edited by Claudia Borgonovo, Manuel Español-Echevarría, and Philippe Prévost
Table of contents
Printed edition: $270.00