Contrasting contrastive-topicalization strategies



Argitaratua 2023-10-18
Dennis Ott


This paper offers a comparison and preliminary analysis of ‘topicalization’ strategies in German, Basque, and English. I argue that Basque and English topics at the left periphery are dislocated elements resumed by pronominal correlates, a configuration more directly evidenced in German. I propose an analysis of left-peripheral topics in Basque and English that capitalizes on parallels with left-dislocated XPs in German. Despite superficial differences, left-dislocation configurations in the three languages can be distinguished from inversion constructions and are united in their contrastive character. I argue that dislocated XPs are parenthetical sentence fragments, building on analogous proposals for German and other languages. The analysis is shown to be flexible enough to account for relevant surface differences between the languages while also providing a principled explanation for the contrastive import of left-peripheral topics.

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Ott, Dennis. 2023. «Contrasting Contrastive-Topicalization Strategies». Anuario Del Seminario De Filología Vasca "Julio De Urquijo" 56 (2):169-92.
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