Predicate focus fronting in the Spanish determiner phrase

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19 Citations (Scopus)


This article brings new evidence to the fore supporting the hypothesis that the architecture of the DP domain mirrors that of the sentence, particularly concerning the topic-focus articulation. To fulfill this task a Spanish nominal construction (the lo-de construction) is analyzed on a pair with comparative qualitative binominal noun phrases (QBNPs). A wide bulk of evidence is presented that these constructions have a subject-predicate configuration, and involve predicate raising to a Focus Phrase, yielding a partition of the sentence where the predicate is focus, and the subject, a background topic. This proposal provides an accurate explanation of a wide range of mostly unattested data, particularly concerning the wide and complex set of referential restrictions involved in the l o-de construction and in Spanish QBNPs. Moreover, it is argued that the 'exclamatory flavor' of the lo-de construction results from the combination of a degree quantificational structure with the definiteness value of the highest Det head. This proposal is argued to offer a simple solution to the restriction of this construction to factive predicates. © 2009 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)819-849
Publication statusPublished - 1 Apr 2010


  • DP-structure
  • Definiteness
  • Degree quantification
  • Exclamativity
  • Factivity
  • Focus
  • Subject-predicate relation
  • Topic


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