[PS-3.17] Covert topic movement in Korean

Kang, C.

University of Southern California

This study investigates covert topic-driven movement in Korean. Assuming the idea that i) topic occupies higher position than focus (Beninca? and Poletto 2004) and ii) focus subjects Superiority effects (Miyagawa 2010), we hypothesize that an in-situ object can scope over its preceding subject (in the surface SOV) when the object is topic and the subject is focus, but not when both the object and subject are focus phrases. We manipulate quantifier types of objects (Korean QPs corresponding all NP/numeral NP/modified numeral NP (subject QPs are the focus phrase, at least one/two NP, in all targets)) and prosody on objects (prominent accent-focus on quantifier vs. prominent accent-focus on NP vs. No accent (topic as distress-given)). Participants gave scores how the auditory target sentences could be naturally used to describe the object-wide scope reading pictures. The results show a significant interaction between QP types and prosody and paired t-test shows that the numeral quantifiers have high-acceptance of object-wide scope reading in no accent condition than the other prosody conditions while other QPs have overall low-acceptance of object-wide scope regardless of prosody. This implicates that an object that can satisfy distributional/specificity requirement of topic-hood (numeral NP only) can covertly undergo topic-movement.