A primitive mapping of the criterial field of focus
Caterina Bonan
April 2022

This contribution proposes a preliminary reassessment of the cartography of a number of syntactic phenomena that fall under the broad label of 'focus'. The main aim of this work is to encourage a discussion and amendment of the cartography of focus projections based on a cross-linguistic comparison of the movement properties of interrogative wh-elements and of prosodically-marked nominal focalisations. Additionally, a new understanding of the syntactic properties of wh-movement and focus will be proposed which, based on Rizzi's (2017) notions of 'movement' and 'Spell-Out' parameters, reduces the observed cross-linguistic variations to the combination of simple binary choices. I will claim that the notion of 'focus projection' is semantically and empirically insufficient to account for the wide array of focal phenomena attested cross-linguistically while abiding by the 'One feature-One head' rule and 'Uniqueness of focus' principle: criterial fields are needed instead. --> The theory in this squib is work-in-progress. Comments and suggestions are most welcome!
Format: [ pdf ]
Reference: lingbuzz/006287
(please use that when you cite this article)
Published in: Caderno de squibs 7(1)
keywords: cartography, focus, projections, criteria, wh-movement, romance, syntax
previous versions: v2 [January 2022]
v1 [October 2021]
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