Document Type

Article

Publication Date

4-2008

Journal

Syntax

Volume

11

Issue

1

First Page

91

Last Page

124

URL with Digital Object Identifier

http://dx.doi.org/10.1111/j.1467-9612.2008.00104.x

Abstract

This paper presents arguments in favor of a pseudocleft analysis of a certain class of sentences in Malagasy, despite the lack of an overt wh-element. It is shown that voice morphology on the verb creates an operator-variable relationship much like the one created by wh-movement in free relatives in English and other languages. The bulk of the paper argues in favor of an inversion analysis of specificational pseudoclefts in Malagasy: a predicate DP is fronted to a topic position from within a small clause constituent. Moreover, it is shown that the same inversion occurs in equative and specificational sentences in Malagasy, which suggests that these types of sentences share the same syntactic structure. The proposed analysis also provides support for the view that specificational pseudoclefts have a topic > focus structure, where the wh-clause has been overtly topicalized.