Gärtner Hans-Martin & Gyuris Beáta

Hungarian quotative inversion

It is shown that Hungarian quotative inversion (QI) does not impose exhaustive interpretation on the reported clause, in contrast to the effect of “focus inversion” on focus-moved constituents. Two analyses of QI are sketched. One takes QI to involve movement of a quotative operator, OpQ, to Spec,F(oc)P (cf. Collins & Branigan 1997; Suñer 2000) and derives non-exhaustivity from a constraint on focus induced by “narrative force.” The other assimilates OpQ to a “verbal modifier” (VM) in Spec,PredP of a “neutral sentence” (in the sense of Kálmán 1985) and derives non-exhaustivity from the fact that focus is absent from such sentences. It is further argued that the second analysis possesses advantages over the first one in blocking long-distance movement of OpQ.

Collins, Chris & Phil Branigan (1997): Quotative Inversion. Natural Language and Linguistic Theory 15, 1–41.

Kálmán, László (1985): Word Order in Neutral Sentences. In: Kenesei, István (ed.): Approaches to Hungarian, Vol. 1. Szeged: JATE Press, 13–23.

Suñer, Margarita (2000): The Syntax of Direct Quotes with Special Reference to Spanish and English. In: Natural Language and Linguistic Theory 18, 525–578.