An interface account of identificational focus movement

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This paper offers a purely interface-based account of the syntax of identificational focus in Hungarian, which eliminates all syntax-internal artifacts from the grammar of ‘focus movement.’ The analysis is based on two inescapable interface properties of id-focus: its prosodic prominence, and its interpretation as an identificational predicate. The overt or covert realization of any id-focus movement and the actual landing sites it may target are determined by the interaction of independent factors: (1) general properties of the grammar (economy, Stress–Focus Correspondence, and the general theory of syntactic movement), and (2) parametric properties of Hungarian that are independent of the grammar of focus, including syntactic and prosodic features (notably, the “EPP” property of T, and the left-headedness of intonational phrases).


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