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Parameters of Predicate Fronting$
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Vera Lee-Schoenfeld and Dennis Ott

Print publication date: 2021

Print ISBN-13: 9780197545553

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: August 2021

DOI: 10.1093/oso/9780197545553.001.0001

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PRINTED FROM OXFORD SCHOLARSHIP ONLINE (oxford.universitypressscholarship.com). (c) Copyright Oxford University Press, 2021. All Rights Reserved. An individual user may print out a PDF of a single chapter of a monograph in OSO for personal use. date: 21 October 2021

Verb phrase I-topics in German

Verb phrase I-topics in German

(p.12) Chapter 2 Verb phrase I-topics in German
(p.iii) Parameters of Predicate Fronting

Anya Hogoboom

Vera Lee-Schoenfeld

Oxford University Press

German is noteworthy for allowing agentive vPs to front, albeit under very specific conditions. This chapter examines the prosodic requirements for such phrases to front, comparing them with those for fronted lexical VPs as well as with the prosody of unfronted vPs/VPs. The results of a production study are shown, and it is determined that the prosodic condition is identical to the “hat contour” that is more widely, but optionally, used in the language for other contrastive topics, so-called I(ntonation)-topics. This investigation of vP/VP I-topics, which are typically more complex than DP/PP I-topics, sheds light on previously-unknown aspects, such as the fact that the characteristic L*+H (low rising) intonation of the hat contour generally falls on the rightmost nominal in the I-topic. The range of variation in the realization of hat contours is discussed, as well as the key intonational differences between I-topicalization and what we call regular (focus) fronting.

Keywords:   verb phrase fronting, agentive vP, contrastive topic, I-topic, hat contour, L*+H pitch accent

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