Subject Inversion in Romance and the Theory of Universal Grammar

By Aafke Hulk; Jean-Yves Pollock | Go to book overview

subject extraction in que/qui contexts and Kayne and Pollock's (section 1) analysis of quirky subject extraction both involve moving the relevant phrase from a position in the lower functional layers of the sentence, a property that Rizzi (1982) tied to null subject languages and then to “free” inversion.

In short, we believe that this volume is a faithful testimony to the fact that many fine-grained analyses of Subject Inversion in Romance are being fruitfully investigated. We feel confident that the analyses of the complex (comparative. facts discussed here will play an important role in the development of a truly explanatory theory of Subject Inversion.


NOTES
1
See, for example, Langacker (1972, sect. 3).
2
Ultimately, of course, one will need to account for why languages have these two very different types of constructions. That they share properties, despite many differences in their distribution, is argued in, for example, Deprez (1990) and, in a very different way, in Pollock, Munaro, and Poletto (1999). On why subject clitics cannot occur in the sentence-final position in (1), see Kayne and Pollock (chapter 5, section 5, this volume).
3
This terminology is a bit misleading; it means only that subject inversion in languages like Italian or Portuguese is not contingent on the presence of any obvious syntactic “trigger, ” contrary to French (1c) (see below). It does not mean that Italian and Portuguese inverted and noninverted structures are in “free variation”; among other things, they have clearly distinct discourse correlates (see 2.2 below), a point first made, to the best of our knowledge, in Ambar (1985, 1988) for Romance.
4
The EPP didn't exist as an independent principle in the 1970s. It did, however, have a counterpart in the (Extended) Standard Theory of Generative Grammar; subject NPs were not optional constituents in the base component, although direct and indirect object NPs and PPs were (cf., e.g., Chomsky 1965, p. 102).
5
See Chomsky (1965, sect. 2.2)
6
Kayne's (1994) LCA would then require the subject to be merged to the left of Infl
7
See, for example, Lebidois (1952). Our own terminology, “Subject Inversion, ” is merely descriptive and does not presuppose any such computation
8
See Kayne and Pollock (this volume, chapter 5, note 3)
9
See, for example, Bresnan (1977) and Chomsky (1977)
10
Because Stylistic Inversion is always optional in embedded sentences, that argument was then and is still today only an existence argument.
11
“+F” stood for whatever feature characterized the Comp domain of subjunctive clauses.
12
No attempt was made in Kayne and Pollock (1978) to say anything precise on B beyond what Kayne (1972, pp. 73–74, note 6) said about the problem.
13
Taraldsen's work in this volume (chapter 6) is a good illustration of this: It shows that broadening the data base of the well-known que-to-qui alternation in French to include similar phenomena in Danish, Norwegian, and Vallader (a Rheto-Romance dialect) forces one to view the phenomenon in a fresh light and leads both to a better analysis of French—if only because it relates que to qui to other aspects of French syntax, for example, its “conjugaison interrogative” morpheme -ti and its proper analysis—and to a better understanding of the way in which French and UG are related.

-16-

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Subject Inversion in Romance and the Theory of Universal Grammar
Table of contents

Table of contents

  • Title Page *
  • Contents *
  • Contributors vii
  • Subject Inversion in Romance and the Theory of Universal Grammar 1
  • 1 - Subject Positions in Romance and the Theory of Universal Grammar 3
  • Notes 16
  • References 18
  • 2 - On Inversion in Wh-Questions in Romance 20
  • Notes 53
  • References 56
  • 3 - “inversion” as Focalization 60
  • Notes 80
  • References 88
  • 4 - Marked Versus Unmarked Inversion and Optimality Theory 91
  • References 104
  • 5 - New Thoughts on Stylistic Inversion 107
  • Notes 145
  • References 159
  • 6 - Subject Extraction, the Distribution of Expletives, and Stylistic Inversion 163
  • Notes 179
  • References 181
  • 7 - The Constraint on Preverbal Subjects in Romance Interrogatives 183
  • Notes 200
  • References 202
  • Index 205
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