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Open Access On the left periphery: Modal particles and complementisers

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On the left periphery: Modal particles and complementisers

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The purpose of this paper is twofold: first, to provide a unified account of the particles þa, na and as in Greek, and second, to refine the articulated CP structure of Rizzi (1997). To this end, it is argued that þa, na, and as occupy the lower C head, which is specified for modality. The particles na and as further raise to a higher C head (partly similar to Rizzi’s Force), thus differing from þa. The distribution of topic and focus in relation to the particles and the typical complementisers oti and an is used as evidence for the postulation of an additional C head characterised as a subordinator/connector, typically occupied by the complementiser pu and optionally by oti and an. The resulting structure differs from Rizzi’s (1997) in that it provides a tripartite C structure and places FocusP/TopicP between the two higher C heads. In the light of this analysis we also consider the position of negation, as well as the position of the verb in imperatives and gerunds.

Affiliations: 1: University of Cyprus


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