UCL Working Papers in Linguistics 11 (1999)

A stress-driven approach to the syntax of focus


A focused constituent contains the most prominent stress of the clause. (Selkirk 1984, Reinhart 1995) Reinhart accounts for this by a PF/LF mapping rule. I extend this view to Hungarian, a language with contrastive focus-movement and show that a range of data, some of which pose a problem for a feature-driven approach, can be accounted for straightforwardly. Among these are the uniqueness of focus-movement and the fact that verb-focusing does not strand the particle of particle-verbs (verb-movement generally strands it). The analysis extends to blocking effects between focusing and a phenomenon called 'particle climbing'.

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