In this article I investigate the properties of counter-expectational surprise yes-no questions in Italian, introduced by the adversative particle ma. These structures minimally contrast with surprise exclamations. I provide an analysis of the left periphery able to explain the observations concerning the distribution of ma, for instance that it must precede all other items in the clause and cannot be embedded. I propose that ma is a discourse head, projecting a syntactic structure analogous to that of normal syntactic heads. Discourse heads, however, connect separate sentences, which can also be uttered by different speakers, provided that they belong to the same context. I also add some brief remarks on the so-called expletive negation appearing in these cases.

Ma non era rosso? (But wasn’t it red?): On counter-expectational questions in Italian

Giorgi Alessandra
Investigation
2018-01-01

Abstract

In this article I investigate the properties of counter-expectational surprise yes-no questions in Italian, introduced by the adversative particle ma. These structures minimally contrast with surprise exclamations. I provide an analysis of the left periphery able to explain the observations concerning the distribution of ma, for instance that it must precede all other items in the clause and cannot be embedded. I propose that ma is a discourse head, projecting a syntactic structure analogous to that of normal syntactic heads. Discourse heads, however, connect separate sentences, which can also be uttered by different speakers, provided that they belong to the same context. I also add some brief remarks on the so-called expletive negation appearing in these cases.
2018
Selected papers from the 46th Linguistic Symposium on Romance Languages (LSRL), Stony Brook, NY
File in questo prodotto:
File Dimensione Formato  
giorgi_17_Ma-non-era-ross (80).pdf

accesso aperto

Tipologia: Documento in Pre-print
Licenza: Accesso libero (no vincoli)
Dimensione 204.41 kB
Formato Adobe PDF
204.41 kB Adobe PDF Visualizza/Apri

I documenti in ARCA sono protetti da copyright e tutti i diritti sono riservati, salvo diversa indicazione.

Utilizza questo identificativo per citare o creare un link a questo documento: https://hdl.handle.net/10278/3698726
Citazioni
  • ???jsp.display-item.citation.pmc??? ND
  • Scopus 8
  • ???jsp.display-item.citation.isi??? 7
social impact