Demonstrative-reinforcer constructions and the syntactic role of deictic features
In this paper I take Romance demonstrative-reinforcer constructions as a way to test whether the deictic features encoded by demonstrative and locative forms are active in the syntax. From a descriptive point of view, I claim that demonstrative systems can be best accounted for by making reference to two binary deictic person features: [dem
[±Author]] and [dem
[±Participant]]. Then I show how these features combine in demonstrative-reinforcer constructions, providing a comprehensive overview of demonstrative-reinforcer constructions in Italo-Romance varieties. Finally, I argue that deictic person features are inactive in the syntax of demonstrative and locative forms: this is suggested by the shortcomings that Agree-based accounts face when dealing with demonstrative-reinforcer constructions. Therefore, I contend that the best analysis for such constructions is a non-core syntactical one, the relevant derivation point being either within the morphological component or at the interface between syntax and semantics.
Keywords: demonstrative-reinforcer constructions, Italo-Romance varieties, deixis, inactive features, person features