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Exhaustivity operators and fronted focus in Italian

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Abstract

In this contribution we present an original analysis of Fronted Focus in Italian (contrastive/corrective focus in the terminology of Belletti 2004), based on the insight that Fronted Focus can be decomposed into Contrast and the Exhaustivity Operator involved in the computation of grammaticalized implicatures. We argue that the different varieties of alleged Contrastive Focus in Italian are amenable to an analysis according to which the trigger for movement is an attracting Q-feature in the clausal left-periphery, as with focus-movement in Hungarian. The difference between Italian and Hungarian can be derived from the properties of lexical endowment of the Exhaustivity Operator Exh, together with the fact that the latter ‘associates’ with Focus in Hungarian and with Contrast in Italian.

References

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