Desouvrey (2018) – The Syntax of Italian Clitics

The Syntax of Italian Clitics
Louis-H Desouvrey
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January 2018
In this paper, a syntactic account of Italian clitics is presented. It is suggested that clitics in Italian are different from other major Romance languages because of their specification for two pervasive syntactic features, namely [π] and [ω]. All clitics but ne carry the feature [π], whereas the feature [ω] is present in third person accusative-specified clitics as well as past participles. Due to the feature [π], simple clitics must undergo an unusual long outbound movement under OCP. However, the most remarkable combined effect of these feature is to be found in clusters of object clitics, which must be processed by a compounding rule (CCR), and then licensed by a phonological sandhi rule (ICIS), in order to avoid an overload derivation (DEN>3). The feature [ω] has a further effect in the grammar: it forces the agreement of past participles and direct object clitics. Various cooccurrence restrictions, traditionally considered to be arbitrary or idiosyncratic, are accounted for with simplicity and elegance.

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Reference: lingbuzz/003816
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keywords: principles and parameters, generative syntax, clitics, clitic clusters, features, morphology, phonology, constraints, syntax