Volume 22, Issue 1
  • ISSN 2211-6834
  • E-ISSN: 2211-6842
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According to Rizzi & Bocci’s (2017) suggested hierarchy of the left periphery, fronted foci (FOC) can never precede polarity complementizers (PolC); yet languages like Bulgarian and Macedonian appear to display precisely such an ordering configuration. On the basis of a cross-linguistic comparison of ten Slavic languages, I argue that in the Slavic subgroup the possibility of having a focus precede PolC is dependent on the morphological properties of the complementizer itself: in languages where the order FOC < PolC is acceptable, PolC is a complex morpheme derived through the incorporation of a lower functional head with a higher one. The order FOC < PolC is then derived by giving overt spell-out to the intermediate copy of PolC rather than to the topmost one. In turn, this option is linked to the possibility, recorded in all languages which allow for FOC < PolC, to also realize the morpheme expressing interrogative polarity as an enclitic particle attaching to fronted foci.


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  • Article Type: Research Article
Keyword(s): complementizers; fronted foci; left periphery; polarity questions; slavic; word order
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