This paper explores the syntactic analysis of emphatic polarity particles (EPPA) in Spanish and Catalan and shows that these elements fall under a more complex paradigm than previously assumed. It is proposed that EPPA split into a high and a low pattern. We provide evidence in favour of the claim that EPPA are polar elements with an added emphatic value, and present a syntactic analysis where (i) High EPPA are merged with PolP and move to FocusP; (ii) High EPPA display WH-operator properties; (iii) The occurrence of high EPPA is constrained to root and embedded clauses that have a full-fledged left periphery, as predicted by the proposed analysis. Further understanding of EPPA syntactic hierarchy can be attained by assuming that the topmost projection of the CP domain, ForceP, is also involved in the distribution of EPPA. © 2012 Elsevier B.V.
- Emphatic polarity particles
- Left periphery