Volume 43, Issue 2
  • ISSN 0378-4177
  • E-ISSN: 1569-9978
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In Tagalog, an argument that is in narrow focus can be fronted to the clause initial position, deviating from the default verb-initial word order. This so-called -inversion has been claimed to be obligatory (Nagaya, 2007) or at least the go-to strategy (Kaufman, 2005) of encoding narrow focus. There is, however, an alternative that has so far received little attention in the literature: reversed inversion. Structurally, this construction can be understood as the result of combining two inversion constructions: -inversion and -inversion. As a consequence, the focal constituent appears at the end of the sentence rather than at the beginning.

This article presents spoken data elicited during field work as well as written data on reversed -inversion. Comparing the use of regular and reversed inversion indicates that discourse-structural considerations play an important role in construction choice between the two.


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