Article published in:The Limits of Syntactic Variation
Edited by Theresa Biberauer
[Linguistik Aktuell/Linguistics Today 132] 2008
► pp. 331–348
Case morphology and radical pro-drop
This paper focuses on the so-called discourse pro-drop languages,i.e., those permitting radical pro-drop, which affects not just subjects,but other pronominal arguments too. Whereas previous attempts tounderstand the properties of these languages have focused on verbalagreement, the proposal here is that it is in fact the properties of thepronominal paradigm that determine the availability or otherwise ofradical pro-drop. In particular, we propose that radical pro-drop willonly be possible in languages with “transparent” (i.e., non-fusional)pronominal paradigms, since pro-drop falls out as the consequenceof the zero spell-out of regular pronouns. On the empirical front, weshow that investigation of a wide range of languages would seem toconfirm our prediction.
Published online: 17 September 2008
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