Edited by Pascual José Masullo, Erin O'Rourke and Chia-Hui Huang
[Current Issues in Linguistic Theory 304] 2009
► pp. 1–18
Null Expletives and Case: The View from Romance
This chapter focuses on lexical subjects in non-finite domains and, following Chomsky (2006, 2008), provides an account of structural Case reliant on the phase head. I argue that agreement, understood as uninterpretable phi-features (i.e., uφ), is not compulsory for either Case licensing or for obtaining a Case value. Nonetheless, I show that the presence of uφ on the probing domain will ensure a Nominative value, while its absence will constrain the DP to an Accusative value. I propose that a null expletive checking the EPP feature will trigger Nominative subjects whenever (C)-T lacks uφ, specifically, in non-finite domains, such as infinitives and gerunds. I offer evidence for expletive pro as a UG primitive from Romanian binding facts and provide an analysis of Case valuation in this language. Lastly, I discuss micro-parametric variation in subject lexicalization within null expletive languages.