Adverbs and adverbial phrases of place tend to be left out of focus when they are in final position.

(218) sound_loud_speaker What’s happening over there?

(219) sound_loud_speaker There’s a fly in my soup. [1]

(220) sound_loud_speaker You behaved appallingly at your birthday party.

(221) sound_loud_speaker There’s not a jot of truth in what she’s saying.

An important caution must be mentioned, however. Final adverbials can be deaccented only when they are not necessary for the correct formation of the utterance. Let’s consider the following examples:

(222) sound_loud_speaker Put that package on the floor.

(223) sound_loud_speaker She drove me to the station.

(224) sound_loud_speaker She stayed at home.

In all the cases above, the adverbial cannot be omitted. As Downing (2006) explains, some verbs require an obligatory locative element because otherwise the sentence would be syntactically and semantically incomplete. They are not adjuncts but locative complements. Both Cruttenden and Wells highlight that when the adverbial is obligatory, it takes the tonic.

When this does not happen, the deaccentuation is quite likely. Here are some instances:

(225) sound_loud_speaker Can you tell us about the wife of Bath and the significance some women have in The Canterbury Tales (Melvyn Bragg; Carlisle, Cumbria, UK).

(226) sound_loud_speaker It is used to characterize particular examples of vulgarity, if you like [2], in the working class (Laurie Taylor; Liverpool, UK).

(227) sound_loud_speaker A wonderful thing happened. There was a donkey in the scene, [and they actually had a donkey [3] whisperer, who was reassuring the donkey and getting its lines [4] correct (Alexander McCall Smith; Bulawayo, Southern Rhodesia)]



[1] Famous example used by Ladd, Ortiz-Lira and Wells.

[2] See sentence adverbials.

[3] See open compounds.

[4] See noun + adjectives.


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