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On apparent NP-internal focus particles in German

Anja Kleemann-Krämer
The Journal of Comparative Germanic Linguistics
Vol. 13, No. 1 (2010), pp. 1-29
Published by: Springer
Stable URL: http://www.jstor.org/stable/23739460
Page Count: 29
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Abstract

It is well known that the distribution of focus particles such as only, also and even varies across languages. Focus particle placement is less restricted, for example, in English, which features adverbial as well as adnominal focus particles. That is opposed to German which only has adverbial focus particles. According to Büring and Hartmann's (Nat Lang Linguist Theory 19:229—281, 2001) Particle Theory, German focus particles only adjoin to nodes which are non-arguments. The correctness of the Particle Theory is not uncontroversial. It has been argued that the Particle Theory makes the wrong predictions about focus particle placement within NPs. The aim of this paper is to show that apparent counterexamples, in fact, provide new evidence in favor of Büring and Hartmann's Particle Theory. It argues that NP-internal focus particles adjoin to extra non-nominal functional projections which do count as focus particle adjunction sites according to the Particle Theory. Evidence comes from German as well as Dutch NP-internal focus particles.

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