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.
Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.
- Fillmore C. (1968): The Case for Case, in Universals in Linguistic Theory (eds. E. Bach and R.T. Harms ): Holt, Rinehart and Winston, Chicago: 1–90.Google Scholar
- Foley W.A. and Van Valin R.D. (1984): Functional Syntax and Universal Grammar: Cambridge University Press, Cambridge.Google Scholar
- Gazdar G., Klein E., Pullum G. and Sag I. (1985): Generalised Phrase Structure Grammar: Basil Blackwell, Oxford.Google Scholar
- Ramsay A.M. (1990a): The Logical Structure of English: Computing Semantic Content: Pitman, London.Google Scholar
- Ramsay A.M. (1990b): Presuppositions and WH-clauses, DANDI workshop on presupposition, Nijmegen.Google Scholar
- Shieber, S.M. (1986): An Introduction to Unification-based Approaches to Grammar: Chicago University Press, Chicago.Google Scholar