While there has been a substantial body of research on the asymmetry between main and subordinate clauses in terms of the licensing of pro-drop, potential differences between types of unembedded clause have received much less attention – despite the fact that competing theories of pro-drop make strong, clear predictions about the distribution of null subjects across clause types, especially with regard to interrogatives. This paper presents the first in-depth comparative study of pro-drop in both declaratives and interrogatives in two asymmetric pro-drop languages: Old High German and Old Italian. Based on a parallel corpus study using two translations of Tatian’s Diatessaron, we show that there is a clear difference in distribution between interrogatives and declaratives: null subjects are more frequent in declarative clauses than in interrogatives, and these also differ in terms of the persons in which pro-drop is licensed. Our results speak against the V-in-C licensing theory of asymmetric pro-drop of Benincà (1984) and Adams (1987), and in favour of an account based on an Agree relation with left-peripheral operators in the sense of Frascarelli (2007, 2018).

While there has been a substantial body of research on the asymmetry between main and subordinate clauses in terms of the licensing of pro-drop, potential differences between types of unembedded clause have received much less attention – despite the fact that competing theories of pro-drop make strong, clear predictions about the distribution of null subjects across clause types, especially with regard to interrogatives. This paper presents the first in-depth comparative study of pro-drop in both declaratives and interrogatives in two asymmetric pro-drop languages: Old High German and Old Italian. Based on a parallel corpus study using two translations of Tatian’s Diatessaron, we show that there is a clear difference in distribution between interrogatives and declaratives: null subjects are more frequent in declarative clauses than in interrogatives, and these also differ in terms of the persons in which pro-drop is licensed. Our results speak against the V-in-C licensing theory of asymmetric pro-drop of Benincà (1984) and Adams (1987), and in favour of an account based on an Agree relation with left-peripheral operators in the sense of Frascarelli (2007, 2018).

Pro-drop in interrogatives and declaratives. A parallel study of Old High German and Old Italian

COGNOLA, Federica;
2019

Abstract

While there has been a substantial body of research on the asymmetry between main and subordinate clauses in terms of the licensing of pro-drop, potential differences between types of unembedded clause have received much less attention – despite the fact that competing theories of pro-drop make strong, clear predictions about the distribution of null subjects across clause types, especially with regard to interrogatives. This paper presents the first in-depth comparative study of pro-drop in both declaratives and interrogatives in two asymmetric pro-drop languages: Old High German and Old Italian. Based on a parallel corpus study using two translations of Tatian’s Diatessaron, we show that there is a clear difference in distribution between interrogatives and declaratives: null subjects are more frequent in declarative clauses than in interrogatives, and these also differ in terms of the persons in which pro-drop is licensed. Our results speak against the V-in-C licensing theory of asymmetric pro-drop of Benincà (1984) and Adams (1987), and in favour of an account based on an Agree relation with left-peripheral operators in the sense of Frascarelli (2007, 2018).
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Utilizza questo identificativo per citare o creare un link a questo documento: http://hdl.handle.net/10278/3720994
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