Topic particle stranding and the structure of CP

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This paper aims at arguing for the existence of a projection above ForceP in the CP domain. It examines both syntactic and pragmatic characteristics of topic particle stranding, a previously little-noted phenomenon in Japanese, whereby a topic particle appears in sentence-initial position on its own (i.e., without an overt topic phrase). The main observations include: (i) while topicalization takes place in TopP, topic particle stranding occurs in a projection above ForceP; (ii) this higher projection constitutes the outermost periphery of a sentence and appears only in root clauses; (iii) it hosts elements that grammaticize interpersonal communicative functions of utterances; (iv) pragmatic factors that seem to determine the availability of particle stranding are reducible to structural conditions that commonly apply in other domains of phrase structure.


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