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On focal and wh-projections, indirect wh-questions, and quantificational chains

Type of publication Peer-reviewed
Publikationsform Contribution to book (peer-reviewed)
Author Bonan Caterina,
Project The fine structure of Romance interrogative it-clefts
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Contribution to book (peer-reviewed)

Book Romance Languages and Linguistic Theory 2017
Editor , Dragomirescu Adina; , Nicolae Alexandru
Publisher John Benjamins Publishing Company, Holland
Page(s) 74 - 90
ISBN 9789027210050
Title of proceedings Romance Languages and Linguistic Theory 2017
DOI 10.1075/cilt.355.04bon


In this chapter, I investigate the cartography of focus using novel data from non-standard Italian (non-StandIT) and Trevigiano, a Venetan dialect. I argue that focus is less constrained in indirect wh-questions in these varieties than in Standard Italian (StandIT). Indeed, in Trevigiano both focalised objects and adverbials are felicitous in constructions with a lower wh-phrase. Using Featural Relativized Minimality, I argue that in the case of direct objects, the problem of crossing chains is circumvented using an IP-internal clitic that absorbs the [+N] feature of the direct object. Then, I explain the behaviour of focalised adverbials in these varieties claiming that they are externally-merged directly in the Left Periphery, hence create a high focus-chain that does not interfere with the creation of the lower wh-chain.