Left peripheral arguments and discourse interface strategies in Yucatec Maya

Skopeteas S, Verhoeven E (2012)
In: Contrasts and positions in information structure. Neeleman A, Kucerova I (Eds);Cambridge: Cambridge University Press: 296-321.

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Neeleman, Ad ; Kucerova, Ivona
Abstract
Constituents in the left periphery are often assumed to bear information structural functions such as topic and focus. Yucatec Maya provides the empirical basis for a challenging case study in this respect, since it provides a distinction between a sentence-initial position that is characterized by a series of enclitics and is labeled ‘topic position’, and an immediately preverbal position that is labeled ‘focus position’. This paper addresses the issue where do the interpretational properties of the left peripheral constituents come from and considers two alternative hypotheses: (a) the left peripheral constituents occupy the Specifier positions of functional projections that bear information structural features such as ‘topic’ and ‘focus’ and (b) the syntactic positions in the left periphery are underspecified with respect to information structure. The data presented in this paper support the view of hypothesis (b) and show that the interpretational properties of the left peripheral positions can be accounted for through the interaction of discourse principles that are independent from syntax with the properties of prosodic phrasing, that indirectly refer to constituent structure.
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Skopeteas S, Verhoeven E. Left peripheral arguments and discourse interface strategies in Yucatec Maya. In: Neeleman A, Kucerova I, eds. Contrasts and positions in information structure. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press; 2012: 296-321.
Skopeteas, S., & Verhoeven, E. (2012). Left peripheral arguments and discourse interface strategies in Yucatec Maya. In A. Neeleman & I. Kucerova (Eds.), Contrasts and positions in information structure (pp. 296-321). Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.
Skopeteas, S., and Verhoeven, E. (2012). “Left peripheral arguments and discourse interface strategies in Yucatec Maya” in Contrasts and positions in information structure, Neeleman, A., and Kucerova, I. eds. (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press), 296-321.
Skopeteas, S., & Verhoeven, E., 2012. Left peripheral arguments and discourse interface strategies in Yucatec Maya. In A. Neeleman & I. Kucerova, eds. Contrasts and positions in information structure. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, pp. 296-321.
S. Skopeteas and E. Verhoeven, “Left peripheral arguments and discourse interface strategies in Yucatec Maya”, Contrasts and positions in information structure, A. Neeleman and I. Kucerova, eds., Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 2012, pp.296-321.
Skopeteas, S., Verhoeven, E.: Left peripheral arguments and discourse interface strategies in Yucatec Maya. In: Neeleman, A. and Kucerova, I. (eds.) Contrasts and positions in information structure. p. 296-321. Cambridge University Press, Cambridge (2012).
Skopeteas, Stavros, and Verhoeven, Elisabeth. “Left peripheral arguments and discourse interface strategies in Yucatec Maya”. Contrasts and positions in information structure. Ed. Ad Neeleman and Ivona Kucerova. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 2012. 296-321.
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