Towards more flexible verb-finality via the reanalysis of prosodic structure
Dr. Lena Borise, Centre National de la Recherche Scientifique (CNRS), France
Date: Friday, March 1
Time: 3pm-4:15pm
Room: CAB 2-43
Zoom link:
Meeting ID 990 6520 3551
Passcode 491055
Verb-final languages, despite what their name suggests, often allow for postverbal constituents (PVCs). It has also been observed that rigidly verb-final languages can become more tolerant of PVCs throughout their development. In this talk, I show that information-structural factors play an important role in determining the availability of PVCs in languages that undergo a change from more to less rigid verb-finality. The starting point for this approach is the generalization that given/backgrounded PVCs tend to appear first, later followed by new/focused PVCs (É.Kiss 2014; Asztalos et al. 2017). I bring in additional empirical support for the given>new generalization and further show that the progression of change in different languages may distinguish subtypes of given and new. Specifically, among new PVCs, narrow foci become available earlier than PVCs that are part of broad focusand among narrow focicontrastive foci appear postverbally earlier than new-information foci. I derive these generalizations from the prosodic properties of the postverbal domain in verb-final languages and illustrate them with data from a variety of verb-final languages.