Clause-final particles and focus in Eastern Cham

Kenneth Baclawski Jr.

Abstract


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)’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.

Keywords


focus; modality; object shift; Southeast Asia; Austronesian

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DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.3765/plsa.v2i0.4066

Copyright (c) 2017 Kenneth Baclawski Jr.

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