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Verb focus in Haitian

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Abstract

This article bears on <i>VFD</i> (Verb Fronting with Doubling) constructions in Haitian, whose left periphery contains a bare homonym of the lexical verb and which trigger a Verb-Focus effect. We seek to update the description of VFD and to reach a satisfactory analysis providing empirical support for addressing the theoretical issues central to the present volume. Our study leads us to conclude that: (i) The syntactic operations involved in the derivation of VFD are available independently of reiteration; (ii) The semantic effect of VFD is not &#8216;intensive&#8217; but contrastive, and arises from restrictive modification, a form-meaning relation hardly analysable as &#8216;iconic&#8217;; (iii) Haitian VFD may have arisen from a regular recombination of features partaking in focus effects in French, Gbe, and Universal Grammar.

References

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