This paper describes a focus-related phenomenon that has not been discussed in the literature to date: the case in which a negated focus is preceded by a question word. The circumstances of its emergence are clarified and the conditions of its occurrence are stated: only discourse-bound question words can figure in such constructions, and it seems to be probable that the reason why multiple foci occurring in positive sentences differ from focus in negative wh-questions is that Hungarian surface sentences must exactly reflect semantic (scope) relations. If the verb were to precede a negated focus, scope problems corroborated by independent evidence would result. It is furthermore explored how the subsystems of grammar force the single possible solution to emerge. Applying a 'copy and deletion' type of movement operations, a better account can be provided for why and how the form of a sentence that serves as a basis for logico-semantic interpretation differs from its phonetic implementation. Finally, a brief overview of possibilities of responses to (multiple) question + negated focus sentences is provided - with the consequence that interesting relationships can be found between the occurrence of contrastive topic and contrastive focus.
Financed by the National Centre for Research and Development under grant No. SP/I/1/77065/10 by the strategic scientific research and experimental development program:
SYNAT - “Interdisciplinary System for Interactive Scientific and Scientific-Technical Information”.