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Title: Prosodic and gestural marking of complement fronting in Maltese
Other Titles: The languages of Malta
Authors: Paggio, Patrizia
Galea, Luke
Vella, Alexandra
Keywords: Maltese
Prosodic analysis (Linguistics)
Issue Date: 2018
Publisher: Language Science Press
Citation: Paggio, P., Galea, L., & Vella, A. (2018). Prosodic and gestural marking of complement fronting in Maltese. In P. Paggio & A. Gatt (Eds.), The languages of Malta (pp. 81116). Berlin: Language Science Press.
Abstract: This paper deals with the use of complement fronting in a corpus of Maltese conversations. Four different kinds of constructions are distinguished based on the discourse status of the fronted complement: focus movement, topicalisation and two types of left dislocation. A discussion is carried out of the ways in which suprasegmental features, both in terms of prosody and gestures, underpin the discourse functions of the four construction types. Our findings show that a falling pitch accent is nearly always present on the fronted complement, and that there is a tendency for gestures to accompany this same complement. We also show that the four construction types can be ordered on the basis of suprasegmental complexity with focus movement as the least complex, followed by topicalisation, and finally both types of left dislocation as the most complex.
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