Information focus, syntactic weight and postverbal constituent order in Spanish
Keywords:direct objects, depictives, accusatives, constituent order, information focus, syntatic weight, prepositional complements
AbstractIn Spanish, postverbal constituents – such as direct object, locative adjunct or depicitive – can be ordered in different ways (e.g. Juan bailó desnudo en su casa vs. Juan bailó en su casa desnudo). The present paper examines two possible factors for postverbal constituent order: information focus and syntactic weight. Based on data from a perception experiment it will be shown that information focus and syntactic weight indeed influence in postverbal constituent order in Spanish: both the focalization of a constituent and the increase of the weight of a constituent increase the frequency with which the respective constituent takes up the sentence final position. As concerns the strength of the two factors, our results suggest that information focus and syntactic weight influence in postverbal constituent order to a similar extent. As concerns the syntatic position of narrow information focus in Spanish, our results show that the sentence final position is the preferred position for narrowly focused constituents, but such constituents are not limited to the sentence final position.
How to Cite
Authors who publish with this journal agree to the following terms:
- Authors retain copyright and grant the journal right of first publication with the work simultaneously licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution License that allows others to share the work with an acknowledgement of the work's authorship and initial publication in this journal.
- Authors are able to enter into separate, additional contractual arrangements for the non-exclusive distribution of the journal's published version of the work (e.g., post it to an institutional repository or publish it in a book), with an acknowledgement of its initial publication in this journal.
- Authors are permitted and encouraged to post their work online (e.g., in institutional repositories or on their website) prior to and during the submission process, as it can lead to productive exchanges, as well as earlier and greater citation of published work (See The Effect of Open Access).