The distribution of adverbials in declarative sentences in French

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This paper examines the distribution of different classes of adverbials within French declarative sentences, and links it to information structure. First, each position hosting an adverbial within a French declarative sentence is shown to be specialized for (a) specific type(s) of adverbial(s). Next, the relation with information structure is spelled out. The theoretical assumption is that adverbials can be classified as either focusable or not, and that this distinction also applies to the entire sentence: a French declarative sentence contains a non-focusable and a focusable section separated by the position for the negation particle. French appears to be characterized by a strong correlation between the (un)focusability of adverbials and the positions these adverbials can occupy.


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