Topics and Corrections

  • Sophie Repp


In corrections a focus in the first conjunct is corrected by an alternative in the second conjunct. In German, the focus in the first conjunct is usually c-commanded by the negative marker. However, if the focus is a VP focus containing a definite object (DO), that DO can also occur before the negation. The paper argues that in in these cases the DO is situated above the negation because (a) it is a sentence topic and is forced to move out of the focus domain (= the c-command domain of the negation), (b) as a topic, it serves as a salient antecedent for an implicit topic in the second conjunct, which that conjunct is still about, (c) the implicit topic is interpreted on the basis of a variable in the syntax, which is resolved by the context. In cases where the DO occurs below the negation, in contrast, the DO is not a topic and the second conjunct is not about the referent of that DO anymore.
How to Cite
Repp, S. (2019). Topics and Corrections. Proceedings of Sinn Und Bedeutung, 13(2), 399-414.