Branan, Kenyon and Michael Yoshitaka Erlewine, 2020.
Manuscript, National University of Singapore.
We document and investigate anti-pied-piping, a cross-linguistically widespread but understudied phenomenon where a language targets a proper subpart of the logical focus for focus morphosyntax, e.g. focus particle placement or focus movement. We develop a theory of focus particle placement which successfully generates both anti-pied-piping and pied-piping behavior, which in many cases results in a separation between the pronounced position of a focus particle and the logical position of its corresponding semantic contribution. Constraints on attested anti-pied-piping behavior and its interaction with movement show that particle placement takes place at particular, punctuated points in the derivation, in a cyclic model of syntactic structure-building. We also discuss the relation of particle placement to other processes such as stress assignment and discuss consequences for the status of focus in grammar.