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Chapter 7. On the fronting of non-contrastive topics in Germanic

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Abstract

The present chapter proposes a novel account of the existence of fronted non-contrastive topics in German and its absence in Dutch. The main claim is that the relevant difference between the two languages reduces to the type of scrambling they have: only Dutch scrambling is triggered by an uninterpretable phi(person)-feature on v* (M. Richards 2008). The proposal, fully compatible with Chomsky’s (2000 and subsequent work) model of cyclic Spell-Out, is extended to cover the more restrictive pattern of non-contrastive topicalization in Swedish, absent in Danish and Norwegian.

References

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