The que/qui Alternation: New Analytical Directions
Hilda Koopman, Dominique Sportiche
April 2009

Since Kayne, 1976, much work has tried to formulate the conditions under which the que/qui alternation obtains, and why it exists – suggesting it is an instance of a “Complementizer trace” effect. Sportiche (2008) - available here: - proposes a new formulation and a different rationale for the existence of this alternation in short subject extraction cases; it further documents new properties of long subject extraction in French. The present article proposes an analysis of long subject extraction cases taking into account these properties. It suggests that they are not long extraction cases but rather rely on alternative structures known as pseudo or predicative relatives, and further suggest that subject extraction is never possible in French. Subsequent versions appearing here correct minor mistakes.
Format: [ pdf ]
Reference: lingbuzz/000638
(please use that when you cite this article)
Published in: (revised version) in P. Svenonius (ed.) Functional Structure from Top to Toe, Oxford University Press, New York, 2014.
keywords: que qui, relative pronoun, french, romance, weak, strong, clitic, subject extraction, syntax
previous versions: v2 [April 2008]
v1 [April 2008]
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