Topicalization

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Definition

Topicalization is the preposing of some topical constituent.

Example

In (i) to Mary is topicalized.

(i)     To Mary John has given many presents.

In Verb Second languages topicalization is often believed to occur in all declarative main clauses. The following examples are from German:

(ii) a  Johann hat Maria viele Geschenke gegeben
 	Johann has Maria many  presents  given
     b	Maria hat Johann viele Geschenke gegeben
     c	Viele Geschenke hat Johann Maria gegeben

In the 'neutral' case, the subject - Johann - is topicalized, as in (ii)a. If another constituent is topicalized, such as the indirect object Maria in (ii)b or the direct object viele Geschenke in (ii)c, it receives emphatic stress.

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