Article published in:Romance Languages and Linguistic Theory 2013: Selected papers from 'Going Romance' Amsterdam 2013
Edited by Enoch O. Aboh, Jeannette Schaeffer and Petra Sleeman
[Romance Languages and Linguistic Theory 8] 2015
► pp. 51–66
Microparametric variation in Old ItaloRomance syntax
The view from Old Sicilian and Old Sardinian
New evidence is presented from two under-studied Old Romance varieties, Old Sicilian and Old Sardinian, to assess whether they instantiate V2 systems, as predicted under Benincà’s (1983–4) account of Old Romance word order. We suggest that Old Sicilian is a V2 system, evidenced by strong matrix/embedded asymmetries in word order, the limited distribution of V1 clauses and the makeup of the matrix left periphery. A significant finding, however, is that Old Sardinian is a form of verb-initial system, which differs in certain key areas of the syntax from other Old Romance varieties. Our central claim is that both varieties share the microparametric property of a uPhi feature on a C-head in matrix clauses, whilst the locus of this feature in embedded contexts, the position occupied by subjects and the parametric makeup of the left periphery is subject to microvariation across varieties. This leads to a re-evaluation of Benincà’s (2004, 245) definition of an “abstract Medieval Romance” word order.
Published online: 02 December 2015
Cited by 2 other publications
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Belletti, Adriana, and Ur Shlonsky
Cardinaletti, Anna, and Ian Roberts
Den Besten, Hans
Haiman, John, and Paola Benincà
Hinterhölzl, Roland, and Svetlana Petrova
Holmberg, Anders, and Christer Platzack
Hopper, Joan, and Sandra Thompson
Kaiser, Georg A.
In Press. “The Verb Phrase.” In The Syntax of Italian ed. by Giuseppe Longobardi Cambridge CUP
Rinke, Esther, and Martin Elsig
Ross, John R.
Sigurðsson, Halldór Ármann