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  • No preview · Article · Jan 2012 · Transactions of the Philological Society
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    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.
    Full-text · Article · Aug 2010 · Lingua
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    ABSTRACT: In the present article we shall reconsider the category infinitive in Romance and, in particular, examine the variation in function and form exhibited by the various species of Romance infinitive. Despite a number of differences, the range of variation exhibited by such infinitival forms is not unconstrained. Rather, basing ourselves on a proper understanding of the formal properties of such infinitival forms, it is possible to define a macrocategory of infinitive, within which all the various species of Romance infinitive may be felicitously subsumed. In the light of such a definition of the category of Romance infinitive, we shall propose a new candidate for infinitival status from the dialects spoken in southern Calabria, which are traditionally described as making very little use of the infinitive, regularly using in its place finite clauses on a par with the indigenous Greek dialects of this region. It is these same finite clauses that we shall argue are, in fact, inflected infinitival constructions. Though a controversial hypothesis, departing considerably from standard accounts, it will be demonstrated that traditional analyses like those of Rohlfs (1969: 717; 1972) have long obscured the real facts behind such constructions. Instead, it emerges from the analysis presented here that such clauses are, at least in synchronic terms, most definitely Romance in character, thereby confuting traditional claims (see Joseph 1983) that continue to characterise the modern dialects of southern Calabria as partaking in the widespread Balkan feature of infinitive-loss.
    No preview · Article · Dec 2002 · Transactions of the Philological Society
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