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Syntactic Effects Of Verum Focus In Romanian

Publication: Revue roumaine de linguistique, LXII (3), p. 323-338
Information structure and the left periphery / La structure informationnelle et la périphérie gauche
Edited by Ion Giurgea
Publisher:Editura Academiei
Abstract:We argue that verum focus (understood as focus in which the propositional part of the sentence is constant across alternatives, the focused part being the illocutionary component or the degree of certainty) is manifest in Romanian not only prosodically, by main stress on the finite verbal complex, but also syntactically, by raising of the verbal complex to a Focus position. To the instances of VS orders analyzed in this way by Giurgea and Remberger (2012, 2014), we add another pattern, consisting of an emphatically stressed verb followed by an overt subject pronoun in a context which would have allowed the use of pro. We derive the affective values of this pattern (reassurance, threat, strong conviction, concession) from verum focus (which also explains the emphatic stress on the verb). We propose that an overt pronoun instead of pro is used in order to signal that the verbal complex has moved from its ordinary position Infl0, undergoing focus fronting. This pattern underwent grammaticalization in some regional varieties, yielding the so-called ‘double subject’ construction, in which the pronoun is an expletive which fills the SpecInfl position.
Key words:verum focus, focus fronting, double subject construction, Romanian, subject pronouns, expletives
Language: English

Citations to this publication: 2

References in this publication: 5

11Ana-Maria BarbuComplexul verbalSCL, L (1), 391999
15Alexandra CornilescuThe Double Subject Construction in Romanian. Notes on the Syntax of the SubjectRRL, XLII (3-4), 1011997
157Iorgu IordanStilistica limbii româneEditura Științifică1975
10Sextil PușcariuPe marginea cărțilorDR, IV (2), 1303-14091924-1926pdf
214Hariton TiktinRumänisch-deutsches WörterbuchImprimeria Statului; Otto Harrassowitz1903-1925; 1985-1988, 2001-2005

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