Stylistic Fronting and Discourse


  • Valéria Molnár Lund University


This paper presents a novel analysis of the discourse properties of the phenomenon called “Stylistic Fronting.” The widely spread view, according to which Stylistic Fronting has no discourse-semantic effects in Icelandic, but is related to topic or focus interpretation in Romance, will be chal-lenged. It will be argued here that SF – similarly to topicalization – has relevance for information structure (IS) in both Romance and Scandinavian. The impact of SF on discourse interpretation in Ice-landic is, however, dependent on the type of syntactic derivation: The “stylistic” movement can either be a locally restricted “formal movement” into the subject gap without changing the IS-properties of the moved constituent or a “true” A-bar movement with an obligatory contrast effect. Since SF seems also vary w.r.t. discourse interpretation in Romance, the interpretive properties of SF in Scandinavian seem not to be as different from those in Romance as generally suggested in the literature.