On the syntax of focalizers in some Italo-Romance dialects

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In this article I will discuss the distributional properties of focalizers in different Italian dialects, providing evidence for Kayne (1998)’s analysis of focalizing particles and for his overt movement approach to scope relations, and highlighting the necessity of widening narrow syntactic operations in order to develop an empirically adequate account. I will propose that focalizers can be first merged in two structural positions, that is, as heads of Focus projections located at the left periphery of each phase, the higher one within the CP phase, the lower one at the left edge of vP. I will argue that these elements overtly attract the focalized constituent into their specifier, and that the considerable crosslinguistic variation attested depends on the activation of a higher functional projection that can attract the focalizer to its head and, eventually, remnant material to its specifier; the raising of remnant constituents to the relevant landing site turns out to be parasitic on the adjunction of the focalizer to the relevant head, which makes the corresponding specifier position visible and accessible.


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