Article published in:Romance Languages and Linguistic Theory 2012: Selected papers from 'Going Romance' Leuven 2012
Edited by Karen Lahousse and Stefania Marzo
[Romance Languages and Linguistic Theory 6] 2014
► pp. 65–90
The interpretation of clefting (a)symmetries between Italian and German
This paper proposes a comparative investigation of clefts in German and Italian. Assuming a specificational copular analysis, the properties of clefts in these languages are argued to rely on independent properties of relative clauses and nominal predicates. The major morpho-syntactic (a)symmetries are therefore discussed, and semantic, discourse and prosodic evidence supports a derivational analysis in which the clefted Focus is a predicate and the relative DP is a right-hand Topic connected with a non-expletive resumptive pronoun. As for post-copular agreement, the conditions on null subject licensing are considered: though they are very restricted in German and combine with V2 requirements, clefts represent a type of impersonal construction in which this option applies. Finally, data concerning quantifier scope and connectedness are discussed, providing further support for the present analysis.
Published online: 18 December 2014
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