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.
- Left periphery
- Shanghainese topic-comment