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ERIC Number: ED399773
Record Type: Non-Journal
Publication Date: 1996-Mar
Pages: 23
Abstractor: N/A
Reference Count: N/A
Economy and Optionality: Interpretation of Subjects in Italian.
Adger, David
York Papers in Linguistics, v17 p1-21 Mar 1996
An analysis of subject placement in Italian argues that placement is not determined entirely by case, but also partly by interpretational considerations. The crucial step in the argument is that there are independent well-formedness conditions on discourse structures and that the apparent interpretational effects on preposed subjects of unaccusatives in Italian are actually effects that derive from judgments of felicity in discourse. The apparent optionality of syntactic movement is in fact conditioned by an interface constraint that requires each well-formed discourse representation structure to have a set of corresponding terminal syntactic structures. These considerations interact with a notion of global Economy to derive the correlation between subject placement, optionality, and interpretation. This conclusion actually reinforces rather than threatens the autonomy of syntax. It removes any features from the syntax that have purely interpretational motivation and leaves a simple theory of argument licensing that is purely structural. Contains 23 references. (MSE)
Publication Type: Reports - Evaluative; Journal Articles
Education Level: N/A
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A