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On the order of multiple topics and discourse-feature inheritance


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Opened Access On the order of multiple topics and discourse-feature inheritance
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Author: Jiménez Fernández, Ángel Luis
Department: Universidad de Sevilla. Departamento de Filología Inglesa (Lengua Inglesa)
Date: 2011
Published in: Dilbilim Araştırmaları, 1, 5-32
Document type: Article
Abstract: This paper explores two possible syntactic configurations of multiple topics attested across languages, namely the strict vs. free arrangement of fronted topics in the left periphery. I suggest that these rigid/flexible devices can be explained by implementing Chomsky s (2008) C-to-T feature inheritance mechanism so as to include both agreement features and discourse features (Miyagawa, 2005; 2010), in combination with Richards (1999) multiple-specifier approach to multiple movement, though subject to modifications. In my system, the possibility of free ordering of multiple topics is ultimately the consequence of lowering discourse features from C to T and specifying T as a multiple-attractor in the relevant language. This is the case of languages such as Spanish, as opposed to English. The specific type of topic feature which percolates to T in languages such as Spanish may attract familiar topics (Frascarelli & Hinterhölzl, 2007) to spec-TP
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