Topicalisation and Attachment Preferences

  • Allan Ramsay
Conference paper
Part of the Workshops in Computing book series (WORKSHOPS COMP.)


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.


Relative Clause Attachment Preference Syntactic Ambiguity Definite Clause Topicalised Item 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.


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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag Berlin Heidelberg 1993

Authors and Affiliations

  • Allan Ramsay
    • 1
  1. 1.University CollegeDublinÉire

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