Italian verb-based discourse particles in a comparative perspective

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This paper provides a syntactic analysis of Italian verb-based discourse particles. In spite of their utterance-peripheral distribution and their pragmatic content, they should be considered as integrated in the sentence with which they are associated. It is argued that sentence-initial and sentence-final particles are not derivationally related but are merged in different layers of the clause (CP and IP, respectively). Following Haegeman and Hill (2013) and (2014), it is proposed that sentence-initial particles occur in Speech Act projections above Rizzi’s (1997) ForceP. The interaction of particles and vocatives is also discussed. In a comparative perspective, some differences between Italian and West Flemish have been correlated with the different distribution of discourse particles, namely as specifiers and heads, respectively.


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