Elena Callegari (UiO)

Mapping Types of Foci in Questions

Ever since Rizzi (1997, 2001), a standard assumption in the generative literature has been that foci are incompatible with wh-elements (see also Beck 2006). In this talk, I refine this claim by investigating different combinations of Foc + WH. I focus in particular on comparing different pragmatic types of foci (Bianchi, Bocci & Cruschina 2015, 2016), as well as different types of interrogative environments. I conclude that the prohibition against having a narrow lexical focus co-occur with an interrogative operator is by no means absolute, as several different combinations of such elements are perfectly licit. I then focus specifically on one impossible combination, namely corrective foci + matrix interrogative operators, and argue that such restriction can be captured semantically by resorting to a nested focus analysis along the lines of Constant (2012), together with the understanding that corrective speech acts are only licensed in matrix left peripheries. 

Published Sep. 4, 2018 3:47 PM - Last modified Oct. 22, 2018 11:59 AM