Clause-final particles and focus in Eastern Cham

Kenneth Baclawski Jr.


We demonstrate that clause-final particles in Eastern Cham (Austronesian: Vietnam) are right-branching syntactic heads that trigger predicate raising. This provides support for Simpson (2001)ā€™s analysis of a clause-final modal found in Vietnamese, Thai, and other Southeast Asian languages, and militates against a mixed-headed analysis (pace Kayne 1994). Evidence for predicate raising comes from a novel diagnostic: the interaction between focus-driven object shift and multiple clause-final particles in one clause. Finally, we propose that clause-final particles are VP-level focus phrases, which divide a sentence into a focus and presupposition (cf. Rizzi 1997) and incidentally contribute modal or aspectual semantics.


focus; modality; object shift; Southeast Asia; Austronesian

Full Text:



Copyright (c) 2017 Kenneth Baclawski Jr.

Creative Commons License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License.

Donate to the Open-Access Fund of the LSA

Linguistic Society of America

Advancing the Scientific Study of Language since 1924

ISSN (online): 2473-8689

This publication is made available for free to readers and with no charge to authors thanks in part to your continuing LSA membership and your donations to the open access fund.