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The Linguistic Review

Editor-in-Chief: van der Hulst, Harry

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Volume 26, Issue 2-3


The interaction between topicalization and structural constraints: Evidence from Yucatec Maya

Stavros Skopeteas / Elisabeth Verhoeven
Published Online: 2009-08-21 | DOI: https://doi.org/10.1515/tlir.2009.009


This article deals with the syntactic and pragmatic properties of left dislocated constituents in Yucatec Maya. It has been argued that these constituents are topics, which implies that a particular structural configuration, namely left dislocation displays a 1:1 correspondence to a particular discourse function. We present evidence that the discourse properties of left dislocation are not uniform: only a subset of the left dislocated constituents qualify as topics in the strict sense, while other instances of left dislocation are better explained if we assume a structural constraint that bans the postverbal occurrence of subject constituents in a particular syntactic configuration. Our empirical findings show that though the occurrence of word order possibilities in discourse is not random, it is not necessarily determined by a unique licensing condition.

About the article

Published Online: 2009-08-21

Published in Print: 2009-08-01

Citation Information: The Linguistic Review, Volume 26, Issue 2-3, Pages 239–259, ISSN (Online) 1613-3676, ISSN (Print) 0167-6318, DOI: https://doi.org/10.1515/tlir.2009.009.

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Elisabeth Verhoeven and Stavros Skopeteas
International Journal of American Linguistics, 2015, Volume 81, Number 1, Page 1

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