Linguistics in the Netherlands 2013
  • ISSN 0929-7332
  • E-ISSN: 1569-9919


Right-dislocation constructions, including backgrounding and specificational afterthoughts, are subject to various limitations. Dislocated phrases themselves are islands for extraction. Moreover, there are proximity effects between dislocated phrases and their correlate in the host clause. The main effect reduces to the regular constraints on A-bar movement. This is explained from the perspective of a biclausal analysis in which the dislocated phrase is fronted within its own, elliptical clause. As a result, right-dislocated phrases related to a deeply embedded correlate are only possible if the embedded clause is sentence-final. Otherwise, a dislocated constituent may surface in an intraposed position, next to the embedded clause. Finally, there is an additional prosodic constraint on backgrounding, which is irrelevant for afterthoughts; consequently, the latter must follow the former if they are combined in one sentence.


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  • Article Type: Research Article
Keyword(s): A-bar movement; afterthoughts; ellipsis; locality; right-dislocation
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