Explaining Predicate Inversion with a Clause-Internal FocP

Nagarajan Selvanathan


Specificational copular clauses, in one school of thought, are considered to be inverted predications from an underlying small clause (Moro 1997, Mikkelsen 2004, den Dikken 2006 etc). One aspect of specificational copualr clauses that is often neglected is the fact that such clauses have a unique information structure profile in requiring an obligatorily focused post-copular constituent. In this extended abstract, I argue that the reason for this does not lie in movement of the pre-copular phrase to a topic position (as argued by Mikkelsen 2004) but rather because of movment of the post-copular phrase to a clause internal FocP (a position argued for independently by Jayaseelan 1999 a.o). I provide data from Tamil scrambling facts in support of this.

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DOI: https://doi.org/10.3765/exabs.v0i0.2993