Topics at the left periphery in Russian

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This paper analyses a paradigm in Russian in which a preposed nominal stranding a numeral can show (paucal) number connectivity, with a gap following the numeral, or can appear in a non-agreeing (plural) form: (1) theater-paucal/plural, there were three. paucal__Numerous syntactic diagnostics confirm that, when there is number connectivity, the nominal has been fronted via A′-movement, creating a syntactic A′-chain dependency. In the absence of connectivity, the construction involves a hanging topic related via discourse mechanisms to a base-generated null pronoun. These two constructions constitute a minimal pair and can be considered a counterpart to the better-known left edge topics observed in Romance or Germanic languages.


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