[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: The present article explores the complementizer system of Abruzzese. This system apparently features as many as three different complementizers, and is hence richer than the usual double-complementizer systems found in southern Italian dialects. While a richly articulated conception of the left periphery is demonstrated to provide a simple explanation for the various forms and distribution of two of the Abruzzese complementizers, the same set of structural assumptions are shown to run into severe difficulties when applied to the supposed third Abruzzese complementizer. Evidence is adduced to demonstrate that this element is best viewed, not as a complementizer, but, rather, as a T-element lexicalizing modal features associated with the embedded verb. This is an important finding since it demonstrates how a fine structural interpretation of the C-domain can lead to novel and enlightening analyses of traditional categories, even those traditionally assigned to the complementizer class. At the same time, the analysis highlights how current cartographic assumptions about the fine structure of the C-domain do not necessarily have to be directed towards, or lead to, the discovery of new functional categories and/or candidates for their lexicalization but, rather, can be profitably exploited to throw light on the structure of the T-domain without the postulation of additional functional structure.
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