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LINGUIST List 24.2375

Mon Jun 10 2013

Diss: Romance, Syntax: Casalicchio: 'Pseudorelative, gerundi e infiniti nelle varietà romanze...'

Editor for this issue: Xiyan Wang <xiyanlinguistlist.org>

Date: 10-Jun-2013
From: Jan Casalicchio <jan.casalicchiogmail.com>
Subject: Pseudorelative, gerundi e infiniti nelle varietà romanze: affinità (solo) superficiali e corrispondenze strutturali
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Institution: Università degli Studi di Padova
Program: PhD in Linguistics
Dissertation Status: Completed
Degree Date: 2013

Author: Jan Casalicchio

Dissertation Title: Pseudorelative, gerundi e infiniti nelle varietà romanze: affinità (solo) superficiali e corrispondenze strutturali

Linguistic Field(s): Syntax

Subject Language(s): Italian (ita)
                            Portuguese (por)
                            Spanish (spa)
Language Family(ies): Romance

Dissertation Director:
Cecilia Poletto

Dissertation Abstract:

The main topic of this dissertation is a comparison among sentential
predicative constructions in the Romance languages. Whereas Pseudo-relative
clauses are almost universally used in the Romance domain (with some
parametrical differences), predicative gerunds and prepositional
infinitives, the other two sentential predicative constructions, are
restricted to some varieties. This comparative view, which takes into
account both the different Romance varieties and the different
constructions, is missing in previous studies on this topic.

The aim of my work consists in filling this gap and in comparing these
three constructions among them and with respect to the bare infinitive,
which has been considered sometimes as another predicative structure like
the Pseudo-relative clause. Finally, I will analyse the use of gerundive
(and parallel infinitival clauses) in the Ladin varieties, where a highly
conservative nature is displayed, as is already shown by the fact that this
type of clauses is maintained - within Italy - only in Ladin and in Sardinian.

The thesis defended in this dissertation is that Pseudo-Relatives,
predicative gerunds and prepositional infinitives are to be all analysed as
predicative Small Clauses. Each of these constructions can enter three
different syntactical structures, depending on the context, as proposed in
Cinque (1992) and as shown by numerous tests. Gerunds and predicative
infinitives seem to have a particularly close structural correspondence,
the only difference consisting in verb movement: when the verb raises above
a phonetically empty position located in CP, the incorporation of the two
elements takes place generating the gerundial form. When the verb cannot
move to the preposition, the result is a prepositional infinitive, the
preposition a being realised. This analysis does not hold for the Ladin
data, though, because the gerunds and the prepositional infinitives of
these varieties show some differences with respect to the corresponding
constructions in the other Romance varieties. This peculiar behavior in
Ladin exactly matches the one observed in bare infinitive clauses with
perception verbs. Therefore, I hypothesize that Ladin gerunds and
prepositional infinitives enter the so-called 'ECM' structure, like the
bare infinitives of the main Romance languages.

This dissertation is relevant for the comparative Romance research field,
where a comparison among different predicative constructions has never been
proposed before. Moreover, I show that Ladin varieties are also
syntactically conservative. Further interesting points for future research
can be found in a new analysis of the gerunds (not only the predicative
ones) as the result of an incorporation process involving both a non-finite
verb and a zero preposition. Finally, my account reveals that the
traditional analysis interpreting the Romance bare infinitives as ECM
structures cannot account for all the characteristics of this construction
in the Romance languages.



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