Edited by Ingo Feldhausen, Martin Elsig, Imme Kuchenbrandt and Mareike Neuhaus
[Romance Languages and Linguistic Theory 15] 2019
► pp. 74–91
Chapter 4. At the crossroads between (semi-)free relatives and indirect questions in French
In this paper, we examine in some detail the syntactic properties of (semi-)free relatives in French and their ambiguity with indirect questions. Based on the results of an acceptability judgment task, we argue that object free relatives with a human referent and a full NP subject are ungrammatical in French. We then focus on free relatives with an inanimate referent and their ambiguity, often neglected in the literature: the ce que structure can be either a ‘semi-free relative clause’ (Rebuschi 2001) or an indirect question. We propose a reanalysis from ce que to skə, suggesting that ce que has undergone an incorporation process, parallel but not identical to the one which has occurred with o que in Portuguese.