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An Optimality Theoretic Analysis of Focus in Spanish and English Brad Hoot University of Illinois at Chicago UICTiL Novemeber 13, 2009.

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Presentation on theme: "An Optimality Theoretic Analysis of Focus in Spanish and English Brad Hoot University of Illinois at Chicago UICTiL Novemeber 13, 2009."— Presentation transcript:

1 An Optimality Theoretic Analysis of Focus in Spanish and English Brad Hoot University of Illinois at Chicago UICTiL Novemeber 13, 2009

2 The puzzle Certain configurations of word order and main stress can only fit felicitously in certain contexts (1)[Context: What’s up?] Kalyani bought a platypus. #Kalyani bought a platypus. * Bought a platypus Kalyani. (2)[Context: Who bought a platypus?] # Kalyani bought a platypus. Kalyani bought a platypus. * Bought a platypus Kalyani. How do we account for this?

3 The puzzle Certain configurations of word order and main stress can only fit felicitously in certain contexts (3)[Context: What’s up?] Kalyani compró un ornitorrinco. # Kalyani compró un ornitorrinco. # Compró un ornitorrinco Kalyani. (4)[Context: Who bought a platypus?] # Kalyani compró un ornitorrinco. Compró un ornitorrinco Kalyani. How do we account for this?

4 Puzzle pieces Discourse status Main stress Word order Different strategies for different languages

5 Definitions Presentational/information focus – that element that “provide[s] a resolution for a variable left open in the previous discourse” (López 2009: 23) (5) What did John bring?[λx John brought x] John brought the wine. [x=the wine, ‘the wine’ is focus] Focus corresponds to the wh-word in the context question Given – an utterance counts as given if it has a salient antecedent in the discourse and the context entails the existence of the utterance’s referent (see more formal definition by Schwarzschild 1999) Not considering: Contrastive focus, topics, and many other phenomena

6 Complicating the puzzle Focus ‘projects’ (Selkirk 1984, 1995) (6)a. [Context: What did Mary buy a book about?] Mary bought a book about [bats]F. b.[Context: What kind of book did Mary buy?] Mary bought a book [about bats]F. c.[Context: What did Mary buy?] Mary bought [a book about bats]F. d.[Context: What did Mary do?] Mary [bought a book about bats]F. e.[Context: What’s been happening?] [Mary bought a book about bats]F.

7 Complicating the puzzle But not from everywhere (7)Mary bought a book about bats. [Context: Who bought a book about bats?] # [Context: What did Mary do?] (8)Compró un libro sobre murciélagos Mary. (9)Mary bought a book about bats. [Context: What did Mary buy that was about bats?] # [Context: What did Mary do?] (10)Sobre murciélagos, Mary compró un libro.

8 Complicating the puzzle Anaphoric destressing/deaccenting – Given elements can’t bear stress (11)[Context: What did John’s mother always do?] She [praised him]F. # She [praised him]F. (12)[Context: John used to drive Mary’s red convertible, but it’s in the shop. What will he drive now?] He’ll drive her [blue convertible]F. # He’ll drive her [blue convertible]F.

9 Previous approaches There are many accounts of focus realization They can be organized by where they locate what drives focus realization Syntactic approaches (Rizzi 1997, López 2009) Prosodic approaches (Büring & Gutiérrez-Bravo 2006, Féry & Samek-Lodovici 2006, Reinhart 2006, Samek-Lodovici 2005, Selkirk 1995, Szendrői 2001, inter alia) Semantic approaches (Schwarzschild 1999, Kučerová 2007) Derivational approaches have certain flaws Focus on one component, incomplete picture Look ahead / Smart computational system Language specific / Parameterization

10 Optimality Theory GEN, EVAL, & violable, ranked constraints Advantages: Avoids problems in derivational approaches – No look ahead, no smart grammar, no ordering questions Puts everything together – No one component of the grammar motivates information structure Accounts easily for language variation – No need for parameterization, ideally extensible to all languages Captures the intuition that both Spanish and English have recourse to the same resources in the right situations (i.e., contrastive focus) Many OT-based analyses of focus (Büring & Gutiérrez-Bravo 2001, Féry & Samek-Lodovici 2006, German et al. 2006, Gutiérrez-Bravo 2002, Keller & Alexopoulou 2001, Samek-Lodovici 2005, Schwarzschild 1999, Szendroi 2001, inter alia)

11 Back to the pieces of the puzzle Discourse status Main stress Word order Different strategies for different languages

12 Constraints: Discourse Status Given: If a constituent is not F-marked, it must be given. (Schwarzschild 1999) Violated if a non-F-marked constituent is not given. *F: F-mark as little as possible, without violating Givenness. (Schwarzschild’s AvoidF) Violated once for each F-mark. FocusProminence (FP): Main stress corresponds to an F- marked element. Violated if main stress corresponds to an element that is not F-marked. DestressGiven (DG): Given elements are not stressed. Violated if main stress corresponds to an element that is given.

13 Ranking: Discourse Status Given >> *F Given and *F unranked with regard to other constraints Let’s leave these aside English: FP >> DG Spanish: FP & DG unranked

14 Ranking: Discourse Status FPDG a.  ( * ) ( *)( * ) She [praised him] b. ( * ) ( *)( * ) She [praised him] *

15 Ranking: Discourse Status FPDG a.  ( * ) ( *)( * ) She praised [him] * * b. ( * ) ( *)( * ) She praised [him] *

16 A note on main stress: Metrical grid prosody Metrical grid analysis of Halle and Vergnaud 1987 (13)Prosodic structure ( * )iP ( * ) ( * ) pP ( * ) ( * ) ( * )PWd Lori sold a hedgehog

17 Constraints: Main stress (I) – Mapping syntax to prosodic structure (Truckenbrodt 1999) Assumption: general mechanisms for creating prosodic structure, à la Truckenbrodt (Exhaustivity, NonRecursivity) Align-Left(XP,pP) (AlignXP): For each XP there is a pP such that the left edge of XP coincides with the left edge of pP. Violated once for each XP whose left edge does not coincide with the left edge of a pP. Stress-XP: Each lexically headed XP must contain the head of a phonological phrase. Violated once each time none of the lexical items in a lexical XP is the head of its pP. *Prosodic Phrase (*pP): Do not create prosodic phrases. Violated once for each pP.

18 Ranking: Main stress (I) – Mapping syntax to prosodic structure English: Stress-XP >> *pP >> Align-XP Spanish: Align-XP, Stress-XP >> *pP

19 Ranking: Main stress (I) – Mapping syntax to prosodic structure StressXP*pPAlignXP a.  ( * )( * )( * ) Lori sold a hedgehog to Meghanne **** b. ( * )( * )( * )( * ) Lori sold a hedgehog to Meghanne ****WL c. ( * )( * ) Lori sold a hedgehog to Meghanne *W**L**W d. ( * ) Lori sold a hedgehog to Meghanne **W*L***W e. ( * )( * )( * ) Lori sold a hedgehog to Meghanne *W****W

20 Ranking: Main stress (I) – Mapping syntax to prosodic structure AlignXPStressXP*pP a.  ( * )( *)( * )( * ) Lori le vendi ó un erizo a Meghanne **** b. ( * )( * ) Lori le vendi ó un erizo a Meghanne **W*W**L c. ( * )( * ) Lori le vendi ó un erizo a Meghanne **W*W**L d. ( * )( * ) Lori le vendi ó un erizo a Meghanne **W **L e. ( * ) Lori le vendi ó un erizo a Meghanne ***W**W*L f. ( * )( * )( * ) Lori le vendi ó un erizo a Meghanne *W***L

21 Constraints: Main stress (II) – Determining main stress (Samek-Lodovici 2005) Align-Right(Head,iP) (AlignRiP): Align the head of the iP with its right boundary. Violated once for each pP head between the iP head and the iP’s right boundary.

22 Constraints: Word order (Samek-Lodovici 2005) Assumption: General mechanisms for building syntactic derivations EPP: Clauses have subjects. The highest A- Specifier (or the Spec of I-related heads such as T­­0, Agr0, Neg0) must be overtly filled. Violated if a clause does not have an overt pre-verbal subject. Stay: No traces. Violated once for each trace (or copy).

23 Ranking the constraints: Word order EPP >> Stay

24 Ranking the constraints: All together now English: FP >> DG >> EPP >> (StressXP, Stay) (AlignRiP,*pP) >> AlignXP Spanish: (AlignRiP, AlignXP, StressXP) >> (FP, DG) >> (*pP, EPP) >> Stay

25 English Subject focus: FP >> EPP >> StressXP >> AlignRiP FPEPPStressXPAlignRiP*pPAlignXPStay a.  ( * ) ( * )( * ) [Kalyani] bought a platypus ***** b. ( * ) ( * )( * ) [Kalyani] bought a platypus *WL**** c. ( * ) [Kalyani] bought a platypus **WL*L**W* d. ( * ) ( * )( * ) bought a platypus [Kalyani] *WL*****W

26 English Object focus: Stay >> AlignRiP FPEPPStressXPStayAlignRiP*pPAlignXP a.  ( * ) ( * )( * )( * ) Lori sold a [hedgehog] to Meghanne ****** b. ( * ) ( * )( * )( * ) Lori sold a [hedgehog] to Meghanne *W*L**** c. ( * ) ( * )( * )( * ) Lori sold a [hedgehog] to Meghanne *W*L**** d. ( * ) ( * )( * ) Lori sold a [hedgehog] to Meghanne *W*L**L**W e. ( * ) ( * )( * ) Lori sold a [hedgehog] to Meghanne *W *L**L**W f. ( * ) ( * )( * )( * ) Lori sold to Meghanne a [hedgehog] **WL**** g. ( * ) ( * )( * )( * )( * ) Lori sold a [hedgehog] to Meghanne ******WL h. ( * ) ( * )( * ) Lori sold to Meghanne a [hedgehog] *W**WL**L**W

27 Spanish Subject focus: FP, AlignRiP, AlignXP, StressXP >> *pP, EPP FPAlignRiPAlignXPStressXP*pPEPPStay a.  ( * ) ( *)( * )( * ) Compr ó un ornitorrinco [Kalyani] ***** b. ( * ) ( * )( *)( * ) [Kalyani] compr ó un ornitorrinco *W***L* c. ( * ) ( * )( *)( * ) [Kalyani] compr ó un ornitorrinco **W***L* d. ( * ) [Kalyani] compr ó un ornitorrinco **W *LL*

28 Spanish Object focus: No new info (though it accounts for p-movement) FPAlignRiPAlignXPStressXP*pPEPPStay a.  ( * ) ( * )( *)( * )( * ) Lori le vendi ó a Meghanne un [erizo] ****** b. ( * ) ( * )( *)( * )( * ) Lori le vendi ó un [erizo] a Meghanne *W*****L c. ( * ) ( * )( *)( * ) Lori le vendi ó un [erizo] a Meghanne *W ***L*L d. ( * ) ( * )( *)( * ) Lori le vendi ó a Meghanne un [erizo] *W ***L** e. ( * ) ( * )( *)( * )( * ) Lori le vendi ó un [erizo] a Meghanne *W*****L

29 Spanish Object Adjunct Focus: AlignRiP, AlignXP >> FP AlignRiPAlignXPStressXPFP*pPEPPStay a.  ( * ) ( * )( *)( * )( * ) La polic í a arrest ó al [supuesto] asesino ****** b. ( * ) ( * )( *)( * )( * ) La polic í a arrest ó al [supuesto] asesino *WL***** c. ( * ) ( * )( *)( * )( * ) La polic í a arrest ó al [supuesto] asesino ***W****** d. ( * ) ( * )( *)( * ) La polic í a arrest ó al [supuesto] asesino *W ****L* e. ( * ) ( * )( *)( * ) La polic í a arrest ó al [supuesto] asesino *W L***L*

30 Ranking the constraints: All together now English: FP >> DG >> EPP >> (StressXP, Stay) (AlignRiP,*pP) >> AlignXP Spanish: (AlignRiP, AlignXP, StressXP) >> (FP, DG) >> (*pP, EPP) >> Stay

31 New Data: Red Convertibles [Context: John used to drive Mary’s red convertible, but it’s in the shop. What will he drive now?] (14) He’ll drive [her blue convertible] F. # He’ll drive [her blue convertible] F. (15)Conducirá [su descapotable azul] F. [Context: The CIA arrested the real murderer. Who did the police arrest?] (16)The police arrested [the alleged murderer] F. (17)La policía arrestó [al supuesto asesino] F.

32 New Data: Red Convertibles AlignRiPAlignXPStressXPFPDG*pPEPPStay a.  ( * ) ( * )( *)( * )( * ) La polic í a arrest ó [al supuesto asesino] ****** b. ( * ) ( * )( *)( * )( * ) La polic í a arrest ó [al supuesto asesino] *W***** c. ( * ) ( * )( *)( * )( * ) La polic í a arrest ó [al supuesto asesino] ***W*W***** d. ( * ) ( * )( *)( * ) La polic í a arrest ó [al supuesto asesino] *W****L* e. ( * ) ( * )( *)( * ) La polic í a arrest ó [al supuesto asesino] *W ***L*

33 New Data: Red Convertibles FPDGEPPStressXPStayAlignRiP*pPAlignXP a.  ( * ) ( * )( * ) The police arrested [the alleged murderer] *** b. ( * ) ( * )( * ) The police arrested [the alleged murderer] *W**** c. ( * ) ( * )( * )( * ) The police arrested [the alleged murderer] **W***W*L d. ( * ) ( * )( * )( * )( * ) The police arrested [the alleged murderer] **W****W

34 New data: Adjuncts English adjuncts easily covered Stress shift because FP & Stay >> AlignRiP Spanish object adjuncts covered What about Spanish subject adjuncts?

35 New Data: Spanish Subject Adjuncts AlignRiPFPAlignXPStressXP*pPEPPStay a.  ( * ) ( * )( * )( * )( * ) Detuvieron al sospechoso [tres] polic í as ******* b.  ( * ) ( * )( * )( * )( * ) [Tres] polic í as detuvieron al sospechoso *****L* c. ( * ) ( * )( * )( * )( * ) [Tres] polic í as detuvieron al sospechoso ***WL****L* d. ( * ) ( * )( * )( * )( * ) Detuvieron al sospechoso [tres] polic í as *WL****** e. ( * ) ( * )( * )( * )( * ) [Tres] polic í as detuvieron al sospechoso **W*****L*

36 A conjecture What if FP is an alignment-type constraint?

37 A conjecture AlignRiPFPAlignXPStressXP*pPEPPStay a.  ( * ) ( * )( * )( * )( * ) Detuvieron al sospechoso [tres] polic í as ******* b. ( * ) ( * )( * )( * )( * ) [Tres] polic í as detuvieron al sospechoso ***W****L* c. ( * ) ( * )( * )( * )( * ) [Tres] polic í as detuvieron al sospechoso ***WL****L* d. ( * ) ( * )( * )( * )( * ) Detuvieron al sospechoso [tres] polic í as *WL****** e. ( * ) ( * )( * )( * )( * ) [Tres] polic í as detuvieron al sospechoso **W*****L*

38 Conclusions An OT analysis covers the data without the conceptual problems of derivational analyses This analysis brings together independently necessary constraints to derive focus marking in Spanish and English without recourse to language-specific constraints, as desired (unlike Büring & Gutiérrez-Bravo 2006) New claim: Prosodic constraints outrank all other constraints in Spanish, including discourse constraints This analysis adds to the empirical coverage – Red Convertibles and Adjuncts There are still data to explain, this is a work in progress

39 References Büring, D., & Gutiérrez-Bravo, R Focus-related constituent order without the NSR: A prosody-based crosslinguistic analysis. In M. Séamas (Ed.), Syntax at Santa Cruz 3, Féry, C., & Samek-Lodovici, V Focus projection and prosodic prominence in nested foci. Language 82(1): German, J., Pierrehumbert, J., Kaufman, S Evidence for phonological constraints on nuclear accent placement. Language 82(1): Gutiérrez-Bravo, R Focus, word order variation and intonation in Spanish and English: An OT account. In C. Wiltshire & J. Camps (Eds.), Romance phonology and variation (pp ). Amsterdam: John Benjamins. Keller, F. & Alexopoulou, T Phonology competes with syntax: Experimental evidence for the interaction of word order and accent placement in the realization of information structure. Cognition 79: Kučerová, I The Syntax of Givenness. Doctoral dissertation, MIT. López, L A Derivational Syntax for Information Structure. Oxford: Oxford University Press. Prince, A., & Smolensky, P Optimality Theory: Constraint Interaction in Generative Grammar. Rutgers University Center for Cognitive Science Technical Report 2. Reinhart, T Interface Strategies. Cambridge, MA: MIT Press. Rizzi, L The fine structure of the left periphery. In L. Haegeman (Ed.), Elements of grammar: Handbook of generative syntax (pp ). Dordrecht: Kluwer Academic Publishers. Samek-Lodovici, V Prosody-syntax interaction in the expression of focus. Natural Language and Linguistic Theory 23: Selkirk, E Sentence prosody, intonation, stress, and phrasing. In J. Goldsmith (Ed.), The handbook of phonological theory ( ). Oxford: Blackwell. Schwarzschild, R Givenness, AvoidF and other constraints on the placement of accent. Natural language semantics 7: Szendrői, K Focus and the syntax-phonology interface. UCL Dissertation. Truckenbrodt, H On the Relation Between Syntactic Phrases and Phonological Phrases. Linguistic Inquiry 30: Zubizarreta, M. L Prosody, Focus, and Word Order. Cambridge, MA: MIT Press.


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