LINGUIST List 4.146

Tue 02 Mar 1993

Disc: Pro-Drop

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  1. Tom Cravens, Re: 4.121 Pro-drop

Message 1: Re: 4.121 Pro-drop

Date: Tue, 23 Feb 93 22:18 CST
From: Tom Cravens <CRAVENSmacc.wisc.edu>
Subject: Re: 4.121 Pro-drop

I may be accused of picking nits, but contrary to what someone reported,
subject pro are not absolutely required for Italian present subjunctives,
as long as the missing subject is clear from context (even though the verbs
for 1,2,3 are identical).

Credo che abbia ragione. 'I think that s/he is right'

is interpreted as having whoever was last mentioned as subject. As a non-native,
I have suspect intuitions on this, but it seems that if (large IF?) subject
pro is mandatory at all, it's for 1 and 2. 3 appears to be the default reading
(although a pro for 3 can be used to disambiguate). It's a lot more complex
than just pro-drop or not. Italians, speak up.

I am a native speaker of American English, however, and can concur with several
who reported that no-pro is normal abbreviated speech and writing.
"Hey, how you doin'?" -- "Awful. Went to the dentist and had a tooth pulled.
Can't eat, can't sleep, can't do anything. Callin' in sick tomorrow."

Tom Cravens
cravenswiscmacc.bitnet
cravensmacc.wisc.edu
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