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date: 25 January 2020

Abstract and Keywords

The chapter first summarizes the syntactic, semantic, and pragmatic properties of the topic–comment structure in the Hungarian sentence. It describes the topic as a constituent external to the extended verbal projection, binding an empty argument in the comment, derived by topic movement or base-generated in situ. The topic functions as the logical subject of predication. Then the chapter discusses the focus–background articulation of the comment. The Hungarian sentence structure contains a designated focus position at the left edge of the comment. The focus elicits verb movement. The Hungarian focus construction, expressing exhaustive identification, is analysed as a predication structure both syntactically and semantically. It is claimed to represent specificational predication, with the background determining a set, and the focus referentially identifying its members.

Keywords: Hungarian, topic, focus, exhaustive, background, specificational predication

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