Topicalisation and Attachment Preferences
At first sight, “topicalisation” — the process of moving some constituent of a sentence to the front for emphasis — seems to be a fairly uncommon syntactic phenomenon. We argue that it is far more prevalent than is usually recognised, and that in a number of situations it leads to a reduction in syntactic ambiguity and hence to easier processing. This reduction in ambiguity can be used to support a principled defence of certain “preferences” in the attachment of modifiers such as PP’s and adjectival VP’s.
KeywordsRelative Clause Attachment Preference Syntactic Ambiguity Definite Clause Topicalised Item
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