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Sorry About That

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Sociolinguistics from the Periphery

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Summary Details


Query:   Sum: Focus condition on Heavy Shift
Author:  Carsten Breul
Submitter Email:  click here to access email
Linguistic LingField(s):   Syntax

Summary:   DEAR ALL

IN LINGUIST 9.1618, I POSTED THE FOLLOWING QUERY:

THERE SEEMS TO BE A FOCUS CONDITION FOR HEAVY SHIFT
CONSTRUCTIONS SUCH THAT THE SHIFTED CONSTITUENT HAS TO BE
THE FOCUS EXPRESSION (OR CONTAINS THE FOCUS EXPRESSION) TO
BE ACCEPTABLE/GRAMMATICAL.

MY QUESTION IS WHETHER MARKED SENTENCE ACCENTUATION
MAY OVERRIDE THIS REQUIREMENT. THAT IS, IS IT POSSIBLE TO
SAY E.G.

(1) KELLY BOUGHT FOR SAM A BRAND NEW COMPUTER.
OR
(2) KELLY BOUGHT FOR SAM A BRAND NEW COMPUTER.?

HERE, HEAVY (CONTRASTIVE) STRESS IS PUT ON 'SAM'/'KELLY' IN
ORDER TO PROSODICALLY MARK THEM AS THE FOCUS EXPRESSIONS
WITH THE OBJECT SHIFTED AT THE SAME TIME.

I HAVE RECEIVED 6 REPLIES (ALL BY NATIVE SPEAKERS OF ENGLISH,
AS FAR AS I CAN TELL). ONCE AGAIN A BIG THANK YOU TO THEM
ALL.

IT SEEMS THAT FOR ONE OR TWO OF THE INFORMANTS MY QUESTION
DOES NOT MAKE SENSE. THIS IS EITHER BECAUSE THEY DO NOT
ACCEPT THE CONSTRUCTION 'BUY SOMETHING FOR SOMEBODY'
(INSTEAD OF 'BUY SOMEBODY SOMETHING') IN THE FIRST PLACE, OR
BECAUSE I HAVE NOT MADE CLEAR ENOUGH WHAT I AM GETTING AT IN
THE FORMULATION OF THE QUERY. (BY THE WAY, I TOOK THE
SENTENCES FROM AN ARTICLE BY MICHAEL SHAUN ROCHEMONT
(

LL Issue: 9.1651
Date Posted: 20-Nov-1998
Original Query: Read original query