The paper deals with Samuel Brassai, a 19th-century Hungarian linguist and polyhistor, who was the first in the world to discover the role of information structure in the syntactic organization of the sentence. Preparing to describe Hungarian syntax, he first wanted to establish the universal and typical characteristics of the sentence on the basis of a number of genetically unrelated languages. The universal structure he identified is essentially the topic-comment structure (called
articulation by him). French-type languages realize a constrained version of this universal structure, requiring the topicalization of the grammatical subject. In Hungarian, the initial position of the comment is a focus (in his terminology:
) position. His Hungarian sentence model is a forerunner of today’s generative sentence structure.
. Bloomington : Indiana University Press .
Ladd , D. Robert . 2008 . Intonational phonology . Second edition. Cambridge : Cambridge University Press .
Lambrecht , Knud . 1994 . Informationstructure and sentence form . A theory of topic, focus, and
Finnish finite clause exhibits topic prominence in the sense that the preverbal subject position is occupied by the topic (for example, by the direct object topic), not necessarily by the grammatical subject. Three currently unexplained facts concerning the Finnish free word order phenomenon and topicalization are noted in this paper: subject-verb agreement interacts with word order; the preverbal “topic” position is not reserved exclusively for topics; and noun phrase (DP) arguments are also able to dislocate to the right edge of a (potentially very long) finite clause. A generalized morphosyntactic agreement mechanism that requires the presence of nominal phi-features inside the highest finite projection of a clause is posited to explain the link between agreement and word order. The problem with topicality is accounted for by assuming that the topic-focus mechanism operates outside of narrow syntax. Free word order and non-configurationality are argued to result from argument adjunction, not from movement. Finally, it is concluded that the Finnish EPP is connected neither to morphosyntax nor to discourse.
Authors:Ángel L. Jiménez-Fernández and Bożena Rozwadowska
informationstructure of Dative Experiencer psych verbs . In B. Cetnarowska , M. Kuczok and M. Zabawa (eds.) Various dimensions of contrastive studies . Katowice : Wydawnictwo Uniwersytetu Śląskiego . 100 – 121 .
Jiménez-Fernández , Ángel L