Topic and Left Periphery in Shanghainese

Weifeng Han, Dingxu SHI

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

    2 Citations (Scopus)


    This paper∗ aims to present a novel picture of the left periphery in Shanghainese with special reference to the position of topic. We find that, contrary to Xu & Liu's M (2007) "major-vs.-sub-vs.-sub-sub-topic" distinction, all TopPs in Shanghainese land outside IP, The only landing site for pre-posed adverbs is Spec-TopP (rather than an independent Mod(ifler)P). Int(errogative)P is always generated lower than TopP. The difference between NP topics and AdvP topics lies in that the former can be headed by both spelt (with lexical topic marker) and silent (with comma intonation) heads, while the latter can only land in the Spec position of a spelt head. We also prove that there is a lower FocP within IP in Shanghainese. The FocP in CP and that in IP, however, allows of no co-occurrence. Finally, the left periphery in Shanghainese is described as: (Foe) Top (Foe) Int (Foe)... We find that up to three topics may be allowed in this dedicated position in Shanghainese.

    Original languageEnglish
    Pages (from-to)29-59
    Number of pages31
    Issue number1
    Publication statusPublished - Jan 2016


    • Adverbs
    • Constructions
    • Interrogatives
    • Left periphery
    • Shanghainese topic-comment


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