In this article I demonstrate that in two varieties of Mòcheno, a German dialect spoken by about 600 people in the Fersina valley (Trentino, Northern Italy), referential null subjects can be licensed in main, but not in embedded clauses. This particular root-embedded asymmetry, known as “asymmetric pro-drop” (Benincà 1984), had until now been considered to be fully absent from modern Romance (Benincà 2006) and German varieties (cf. Volodina & Weiß 2012). Through an examination of Old High German, Old Italian and modern Romance varieties, I show that asymmetric pro-drop is not an innovation introduced by contact with modern Romance varieties, but must be considered a conservative feature of older German varieties that has probably been maintained because it is shared with older Romance varieties (cf. Benincà 1994).

On asymmetric Pro-Drop in Mòcheno: pinning down the role of contact in the maintenance of a root-embedded asymmetry

COGNOLA, FEDERICA
2014

Abstract

In this article I demonstrate that in two varieties of Mòcheno, a German dialect spoken by about 600 people in the Fersina valley (Trentino, Northern Italy), referential null subjects can be licensed in main, but not in embedded clauses. This particular root-embedded asymmetry, known as “asymmetric pro-drop” (Benincà 1984), had until now been considered to be fully absent from modern Romance (Benincà 2006) and German varieties (cf. Volodina & Weiß 2012). Through an examination of Old High German, Old Italian and modern Romance varieties, I show that asymmetric pro-drop is not an innovation introduced by contact with modern Romance varieties, but must be considered a conservative feature of older German varieties that has probably been maintained because it is shared with older Romance varieties (cf. Benincà 1994).
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Utilizza questo identificativo per citare o creare un link a questo documento: http://hdl.handle.net/10278/3720580
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