We are happy to announce the next talk in the Phonology Colloquium by Lena Borise (Hungarian Research Centre for Linguistics, Budapest)!

Title: A unified prosodic account of two types of preverbal foci
Date: Wednesday, 08.02.2023
Time: 16-18 ct.
Location: in person on campus IG 4.301 (if necessary, we will stream the talk via Zoom)
If you are registered in Olat you’ll find the Zoom link there. If you want to participate via Zoom, please register via email to Alina Gregori: gregori@lingua.uni-frankfurt.de


The preference or requirement for immediately preverbal focus placement, common especially in verb-final languages, has been shown to result from different syntactic configurations cross-linguistically. Some immediately preverbal foci are raised to a dedicated projection, accompanied by verb movement (e.g., in Hungarian; Bródy 1990; É. Kiss 1998), while other ones remain in situ, with any material intervening between the focus and the verb undergoing displacement (e.g., in Turkish; Şener 2010). We offer a unified account of the two types of preverbal foci, raised and in-situ ones, based on their prosodic requirements. Specifically, we show that both types of foci require alignment with an edge of a prosodic constituent, but differ in its directionality (right- or left-alignment). Our analysis rests on bringing together two independent existing proposals, Focus-as-Alignment (Féry 2013) and flexible Intonational Phrase (ɩ)-mapping (Hamlaoui & Szendrői 2015). We show that this approach makes correct predictions for a number of unrelated Eurasian languages and discuss some further implications of this approach.