This chapter offers an up-to-date discussion of the multiple issues raised by the null-subjectt phenomenon and of the theoretical analyses put forth within Generative Grammar, situating the volume's chapters within current scholarship. By starting from Rizzi's (1986) original formulation of the null-subject phenomenon in terms of the pro-drop parameter and the identification of two types of pro-drop languages (consistent and radical), this chapter demonstrates that the (increasingly challenged, see Newmeyer 2004) notion of a pro-drop parameter with an associated cluster of properties is still a useful tool to capture the empirical and theoretical properties of null-subject languages. This conclusion is reached by considering the broad state-of-the art on i) the cluster properties correlated with pro-drop, with a special focus on the mutual correlation between the null-subject character of a language and the absence of expletives, ii) the types of null categories possibly involved in null subject phenomena (minimal NP; elided constituent, pro, PRO) and their identification mechanisms (agreement, ellipsis, topic chains, control), and iii) the typology of null-subject languages, with a special focus on partial null-subject languages.

On the null-subject phenomenon

Cognola, Federica
;
2018

Abstract

This chapter offers an up-to-date discussion of the multiple issues raised by the null-subjectt phenomenon and of the theoretical analyses put forth within Generative Grammar, situating the volume's chapters within current scholarship. By starting from Rizzi's (1986) original formulation of the null-subject phenomenon in terms of the pro-drop parameter and the identification of two types of pro-drop languages (consistent and radical), this chapter demonstrates that the (increasingly challenged, see Newmeyer 2004) notion of a pro-drop parameter with an associated cluster of properties is still a useful tool to capture the empirical and theoretical properties of null-subject languages. This conclusion is reached by considering the broad state-of-the art on i) the cluster properties correlated with pro-drop, with a special focus on the mutual correlation between the null-subject character of a language and the absence of expletives, ii) the types of null categories possibly involved in null subject phenomena (minimal NP; elided constituent, pro, PRO) and their identification mechanisms (agreement, ellipsis, topic chains, control), and iii) the typology of null-subject languages, with a special focus on partial null-subject languages.
Null Subjects in Generative Grammar: A synchronic and diachronic perspective
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Utilizza questo identificativo per citare o creare un link a questo documento: https://hdl.handle.net/10278/3720572
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