Reconstructing the syntax of focus operators

Liz Smeets, Michael Wagner

Abstract


This paper presents novel evidence that the exclusive operator alleen in Dutch (and nur in German) can directly attach to the focus constituent it associates with, and against an analysis like the one in Jacobs 1983 and Büring & Hartmann 2001 which analyzes all instances of alleen/nur as sentential adverbs that take a single syntactic argument that denotes a proposition. Instead, we argue that alleen/nur takes two syntactic arguments, which combine to denote a proposition. The evidence comes from novel data showing scope reconstruction of [alleen/nur + DP] sequences from the prefield in Dutch (and German), adding to earlier arguments in Reis 2005 and Meyer & Sauerland 2009.

EARLY ACCESS

Keywords


focus association; scope reconstruction; only; adverb placement

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DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.3765/sp.11.6

License URL: https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/3.0/

ISSN: 1937-8912

Journal doi: http://dx.doi.org/10.3765/sp