One of the basic premises of the theory of syntax is that clause structures
can be minimally identified as containing a verb phrase, playing the role
of predicate, and a noun phrase, playing the role of subject. In this study
Andrea Moro identifies a new category of copular sentences, namely inverse
copular sentences, where the noun phrase which co-occurs with the verb
phrase plays the role of predicate, occupying the position which is
canonically reserved for subjects, and the subject is embedded in the verb
phrase. The consequences of such a discovery are pervasive.
Four distinct areas of syntax are unified into a unique natural class.
Along with inverse copular sentences, existential sentences, sentences with
seem and unaccusative constructions are analysed as involving the raising
of a predicative noun phrase to the most prominent position in the clause
structure. In addition, new light is shed on some classical issues such as
the distribution and nature of expletives, locality theory, cliticization
phenomena, possessive constructions, and the cross-linguistic variations of
the Definiteness Effect.