Article published in:Structures, Strategies and Beyond: Studies in honour of Adriana Belletti
Edited by Elisa Di Domenico, Cornelia Hamann and Simona Matteini
[Linguistik Aktuell/Linguistics Today 223] 2015
► pp. 369–392
Subject intervention in free relatives
Subject intervention in wh-questions has been reported for several Romance varieties. The case we focus on here is free relatives. In Italian/French an object free relative introduced by chi/qui is degraded if a preverbal subject intervenes, much like the corresponding wh-question. However, pronominal relatives introduced by ciò che/ce que do not show a subject intervention effect. Moreover, in other languages, including English, free relatives display no subject intervention effect whatsoever. In this paper we address the following questions: (i) Why do subject intervention effects emerge in direct questions and in free relatives in Italian, French (and other Romance varieties)? (ii) Why don’t they arise in pronominal relatives? (iii) Why don’t they arise in languages like English?To answer these questions, we capitalize on the concept of Gross Minimality (Cecchetto & Donati, 2015) and on the observation that English free relatives are modeled after indirect questions.
Keywords: direct question, free relatives, Gross Minimality, indirect question, intervention effects, relative clauses, Relativized Minimality
Published online: 27 August 2015
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