On Some Functional Constraints on Cliticization in Italian
Cliticization in Italian has been relatively well studied from a syntactic point of view, but it has not been examined at all from a functional standpoint. This paper addresses itself to the task of identifying various discourse constraints on the process. First, we propose that a focus constituent in a sentence cannot be cliticized even if its antecedent is clearly identifiable from the preceding context. More interestingly, we show that a nonfocus constituent that is recoverable from context must be reduced either by cliticization or deletion, and cannot remain in full-fledged NP form or in nonclitic pronominal form. Next, we examine cliticization of optional locatives, and hypothesize that they can be cliticized only when they are thematic and (weakly) contrastive, and that they must be deleted otherwise. We then proceed to examine the condition for cliticization of optional locatives in sentences that contain strictly sub-categorized locative or dative NPs. Lastly, we observe that while fronted locatives either may or may not leave clitic pronouns, thematic locatives, which we assume to have originated in sentence-initial position, cannot. We then demonstrate that data involving the interaction of this fact with forward nonclitic pronominalization bears out predictions that ensue from our functional analysis of cliticization.
Published online: 01 January 1983