Chapter published in:Current Issues in Syntactic Cartography: A crosslinguistic perspective
Edited by Fuzhen Si and Luigi Rizzi
[Linguistik Aktuell/Linguistics Today 267] 2021
► pp. 128–138
Subject drop in how come questions in English
In this paper, I will discuss a novel phenomenon which has not previously been discussed in the literature on how come questions – namely the fact that they can exhibit subject drop in diary-style English. I will first introduce Haegeman’s (1990) analysis of diary English with special attention to subject drop. I will next show some facts that how come questions can exhibit subject drop in diary-style English and suggest a mechanism responsible for subject drop in diary English. It will be shown that the same mechanism is used to license the null subject in Old English. I will further deal with a related but distinct question about the mechanism licensing an argumental element in the lower topic position in Old English, as opposed to Late Middle English. I will finally show that the same mechanism responsible for subject drop is used in licensing null Case in Japanese.
Keywords: subject drop, how come questions, diary-style English, Old English, Late Middle English, Japanese
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