Subject Clitics in the Northern Italian Dialects: A Comparative Study Based on the Minimalist Program and Optimality Theory / Edition 1

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This book provides an analysis of Subject Clitics concentrating on Astigiano and Turinese, two dialects spoken in the North of Italy, in the areas of Asti and Turin respectively. In the wake of structural economy, this book accounts for the structural position and function of Subject Clitics inside the computational system and for their morphological and distributional properties. It also provides an empirical and theoretical comparison between Piedmontese Subject Clitics and Subject Clitics in other Northern Italian dialects.

At the theoretical level the higher goal of this book is to promote structure minimality by proposing a treatment of elements of agreement such as Subject Clitics which is compatible with the elimination of Agreement central to the Minimalist Program (Chomsky 1995).

*It has a significant empirical impact as it deals with data not discussed in previous works on Subject Clitics;
*It presents a novel theoretical treatment of Subject Clitics by incorporating minimalist guidelines and Optimality Theory to such a complex topic;
*It presents a detailed review of recent works on Subject Clitics;
*It proposes a novel theoretical treatment of the variation that characterises the use of Subject Clitics across the Northern Italian Dialects;
*It opens several paths for future research in the fields of Romance Linguistics and Theoretical Syntax.

Overall the view of Subject Clitics and sentence structure maintained in this book contrasts with the breaking down of functional categories into a myriad of syntactically and semantically distinct projections that has prevailed in several recent studies on Subject Clitics and Romance Syntax in general.

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Table of Contents

Chapter 1 Introduction.- 1.0 Introduction. 2.0 The Dialect. 3.0 The object of inquiry. 4.0 Objectives and proposals. 5.0 Theoretical background. 5.1 The Minimalist Program. 5.1.1 Features and Checking Theory. 5.1.2 The T-model (Chomsky 1995). 5.1.3 The MP and Variation. 5.2 Optimality Theory. 5.2.1 Input, GEN, CON and EVAL. 5.2.2 Variation and optionality. 6.0 This study: questions and answers. 6.1 What is the empirical and theoretically significance of working with SCLs in Piedmontese? 6.2 Why is a twofold approach adopted and what are the benefits of this choice? 6.3 What are the boundaries of each approach in the analysis proposed in this book? 7.0 The Data. 8.0 Organisation. Notes. Chapter 2 The Data.- 1.0 Introduction. 2.0 Turinese. 2.1 Turinese SCLs and types of subjects and verbs. 2.2 Linear order between SCLs and other proclitics. 2.3 SCLs and negative markers. 2.4 Direct interrogatives. 2.5 SCLs in subordinate clauses. 2.6 SCLs in coordinated clauses. 2.7 *SCL: Non-finite forms and true imperatives. 2.7.1 Non-finites. 2.7.2 True imperatives. 2.8 Optionality. 3.0 Astigiano. Notes. Chapter 3 Optimal Agreement. The position and the function of SCLs.- 1.0 Introduction. 2.0 The proposal. 3.0 Preverbal subjects. 3.1 Arguments against the left dislocation analysis of unmarked preverbal subjects in Italian and the NIDs. 3.2 Subject-in-CP analysis (Poletto 2000b). 3.3 Subject positions below the CP boundary: more evidence for SCLs in T. 3.3.1 More about SCLs inside TP. 4.0 The Extended Projection Principle. 4.1 SCLs and the EPP. 5.0 A multi-layered model for SCLs: an overview. 5.1 Four types of SCLs: an outline of Poletto’s Agreement Field. 5.1.1 Morphology. 5.1.2 Optionality. 5.1.3 Strong Negation. 5.1.4 Interaction with elements in CP. 5.1.5 Omission in coordination. 5.1.6 Exclamatives and new information contexts. 5.1.7 SCLs and interrogative inversion. 5.2 The Agreement Field. 5.3 Reviewing the Agreement Field: Turinese and Astigiano. 5.3.1 Complex SCL it and at/al. 5.3.2 Movement: SCL climbing inside Agreement Field. 5.3.3 The Agreement Field and verbal inflection. 5.3.4 Optionality. 6.0 Conclusion. Notes. Chapter 4 Optimal Agreement. The morphology and the distribution of SCLs.- 1.0 Introduction. 2.0 Optimal Agreement. 3.0 The feature specification of Piedmontese SCLs. 3.1 The Basic System and the Deictic Systems. 3.2 Full and Person Optionality. 3.2.1 Agreement projections and optionality. 3.3 SCLs in coordination. 3.3.1 Optimal Agreement and feature repetition in coordinated structures. 3.3.2 Omission in coordination as a property of invariable clitics (Poletto 2000b). 4.0 Summary and conclusion. Notes. Chapter 5 Beyond Piedmontese.- 1.0 Introduction. 2.0 Beyond Piedmontese and the minimalist component of Optimal Agreement. 2.1 Negation. 2.1.1 Vocalic SCLs (invariable and deictic SCLs) - negation - finite verb. 2.1.2 Pre-negative marker agreement SCLs. 3.0 A common property across the NIDs and SCL types. 3.1 Imperatives. 3.2 Non-finite verb forms. 3.2.1 Personal infinitives. 4.0 Beyond Piedmontese and the OT component of Optimal Agreement. 4.1 Renzi and Vanelli’s (1983) SCL Systems and Florentine. 5.0 Illegitimate candidates. 5.1 Candidates that do not encode [± add,sg]. 5.2 Two feature combination constraints. 5.3 An alternative analysis: [f ] Dominance Scale. 6.0 Conclusion. Notes. Chapter 6 Beyond SCLs: Piedmontese interrogatives.- 1.0 Introduction. 2.0 Interrogative inversion and ICLs. 2.1 ICLs as interrogative morphology. 2.2 Agreement constraints and ICLs. 3.0 A unitary account of Piemdontese interrogation strategies. 3.1 Wh+che questions. 3.1.1 Parry (1998a). 3.1.2 The demise of ICLs: wh+che re-assessed. 3.1.3 Wh+che and V to C movement. 3.2 The proposal. 3.2.1 Theoretical background. 3.2.2 Wh+che explained. 3.2.3 Further questions. 4.0 Summary. 5.0 Interrogativity and the Agreement Field (Poletto 2000b). 5.1 Piedmontese. 6.0 Conclusion. Notes. Charter 7 Concluding remarks.- 1.0 A summary of Optimal Agreement and its achievements. 2.0 Contribution to structure-minimality. 3.0 Structure-minimality vs. a myriad of projections. 4.0 Topics for future study. 4.1 A gradual notion of Finiteness: what do SCLs tell us? 4.1.1 Finiteness: dichotomy or gradual concept? 4.1.2 Finiteness might be ‘mood’ (Vincent 1998). 4.2 OT in narrow syntax. Notes. Appendix.- References.- Index
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