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Topic and Focus Markers in Spanish, Portuguese and French

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Anja Hennemann

This book is concerned with the diachronic development of selected topic and focus markers in Spanish, Portuguese and French. On the one hand, it focuses on the development of these structures from their relational meaning to their topic-/ focus-marking meaning, and on the other hand, it is concerned with their current form und use. Thus, Romance topic and focus markers – such as sp. en cuanto a, pt. a propósito de, fr. au niveau de or sentence-initial sp. Lo que as well as clefts and pseudo-clefts – are investigated from a quantitative and qualitative perspective. The author argues that topic markers have procedural meaning and that their function is bound to their syntactic position. An important contribution of this study is the fact that real linguistic evidence (in the form of data from various corpora) is analyzed instead of operating with constructed examples.

Topic marker, Focus marker, Cleft, Pseudo-cleft, Spanish, Portuguese, French