This article is concerned with the interpretation and distribution of Null Subjects (NS) and silent topics in Modern Hebrew and Italian. It is widely recognized that the NS Parameter is not binary, since ‘micro-parametric’ diversifications emerge across languages, which mainly concern reference, phi features and morphological richness. The central idea is to explore the possibility of a unified explanation based on a comparative interface analysis. According to Shlonsky (2009), Hebrew lacks NSs referring to first, second and third person in the present tense. In the past and future tenses, only third person referential NSs - as opposed to first and second persons - are licensed, while expletive pro is always licit, leading to the assumption that Hebrew represents an intricate case of a semi pro-drop language. Instead I argue that pro is licensed in Hebrew by an agree relation (with a specific type of topic) only when occurring in an embedded domain. In main clauses a continuing topic is always realized by an overt pronoun. Adopting the hypothesis that overt pronouns and pros have the same function as resumptive pronouns (Frascarelli 2007), I show that an overt pronoun in Hebrew occurring in the same context where in Italian a pro would appear is a phonologically weak and destressed item. To sum up, evidence is provided that the Topic Criterion hypothesis (see Frascarelli & Hinterhölzl 2007) positively accounts for the distribution of third null pronouns not only in a pro-drop language as Italian, but also a semi pro-drop language like Modern Hebrew.
|Titolo:||Pro-drop and topic continuity in Italian and Modern Hebrew|
|Autori interni:||BACOLINI, ILARIA|
|Data di pubblicazione:||2015|
|Appare nelle tipologie:||3.1 Articolo su libro|