Proceedings of FDSL 9, Göttingen 2011
Anna Bondaruk: Interplay of Feature Inheritance and Information Structure in Polish Inverse Copular Sentences
Interplay of Feature Inheritance and Information Structure in Polish Inverse Copular Sentences* Anna Bondaruk John Paul II Catholic University of Lublin Abstract The paper examines a syntactic structure of one type of inverse copular constructions in Polish, namely the sentences that contain both the verbal copula być ‘be’ and the pronominal copula to. It is first shown that just like in the corresponding canonical clauses, in the inverse copular clauses under scrutiny the verb być always agrees with the second, post-verbal element. However, evidence is provided based on tests involving the complement of uwaŜać ‘consider’, Left Dislocation, deletion of the copula, and VP coordination that, in contradistinction to the canonical clauses which represent predicational structures in the sense of Higgins (1979), the inverse copula to być clauses are not predicational, but specificational. The differences in information structure between the inverted and uninverted variants are also pointed out. Whereas in the former, the focus is always associated with the post-verbal element, in the latter either the pre- or post-verbal element can be focused. It is further noted that in inverse copular clauses analysed, the pre-verbal element shows the traits of a topic, as it must be specific and discourse-old. It is also argued that the inverted element occupies an A’-position, not an A-position based on extraction and binding facts. Consequently, the inverse copular clauses are derived in the following way: T inherits its φ-features from C and then they probe in parallel, T targets the pre-verbal DP, whereas C targets...
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