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Reading: Preverbal subjects in null subject languages are not necessarily dislocated

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Research Paper

Preverbal subjects in null subject languages are not necessarily dislocated

Authors:

João Costa ,

FCSH, Universidade de Nova de Lisboa, Portugal, PT
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Inês Duarte

Faculdade de Letras da Universidade de Lisboa, Portugal, PT
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Abstract

In recent work on null subject languages it has been claimed that preverbal subjects are always (clitic-)left dislocated. In this paper, we argue against this claim, on the grounds of empirical evidence from European Portuguese concerning agreement facts, asymmetries between preverbal subjects and clitic-left dislocated XPs with respect to minimality effects, the existence of languages with a mixed system (null expletive subjects and full referential ones), language acquisition data, the behavior of negative QPs and interpretation facts, and propose a non-uniform analysis of preverbal subjects and clitic-left dislocated XPs that derives their topic interpretation from a predication rule stated configurationally (section 2). Our account of the SVO and VSO orders displayed in European Portuguese relies on a specific formulation of the EPP parameter, on the locality constraint Attract Closest X and on the independently motivated claim that V-movement targets T in European Portuguese (section 3). Under our analysis, the computational system generates equally economical SVO and VSO derivations and discourse considerations, at the appropriate interface, rule out the unfelicitous ones.
DOI: http://doi.org/10.5334/jpl.40
How to Cite: Costa, J., & Duarte, I. (2002). Preverbal subjects in null subject languages are not necessarily dislocated. Journal of Portuguese Linguistics, 1(2), 159–175. DOI: http://doi.org/10.5334/jpl.40
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Published on 31 Dec 2002.
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