Focusing in Hindi Syntax
In this paper, I propose that focused elements in Hindi must scramble to the specifier of a Focus Phrase projected immediately above the vP, which is the default position for focus (Kidwai 1999). A focus phrase in the immediately preverbal position has also been proposed by Jayaseelan (2001) for Malayalam, Kiss (1998) for Hungarian, Tsimpli (1994) for Greek, and Ouhalla (1994) for Arabic. Although Hindi has previously been analyzed as a wh-insitu language, Manetta (2010, 2011) shows that Hindi has partial wh-movement, and I argue that wh-elements also obligatorily move to [Spec,FocP] when they are focused.Movement to [Spec,FocP] accounts for the long-standing problem of optionality of Long Distance Agreement (LDA) (Mahajan 1989; Butt 1993; Bhatt 2005) and allows for a productive analysis of multiple word orders in wh-questions. I show that the least problematic way of accounting for LDA is by using the noun incorporation analysis proposed by Butt (1993) and the modified AGREE invoked in Bhatt (2005).Following Butt (1993), I argue that embedded objects in constructions that fail to show LDA are incorporated into the verb and lack phi-features. Thus, LDA is blocked. The embedded object in constructions with LDA are interpreted as specific and have a [+FOCUS] feature, which causes it to undergo object shift. It has been attested cross-linguistically that only non-specific objects can be incorporated (Baker 1988; Farkas and De Swart 2003; Mithun 1984). The specific DP is shown to carry a [+FOCUS] feature as the answer to a wh-question with LDA is necessarily focused. I also show that wh-questions can be focused only when they carry a focus feature. This opposes previous accounts of Hindi partial wh-movement (Kidwai 1999; Manetta 2010, 2011), which state that wh-questions are inherently focused and must obligatorily undergo movement. Finally, using data from prosodic studies of Hindi, I show that syntactic focus has different effects on the prosody than morphological or phonological focus.