On the null-subject phenomenon
Federica Cognola, Jan Casalicchio
April 2018

This chapter offers an up-to-date discussion of the multiple issues raised by the null-subjecttphenomenon and of the theoretical analyses put forth within Generative Grammar, situating the volume's chapters within current scholarship. By starting from Rizzi's (1986) original formulation of the null-subject phenomenon in terms of the pro-drop parameter and the identification of two types of pro-drop languages (consistent and radical), this chapter demonstrates that the(increasingly challenged (see Newmeyer 2004) notion of a pro-drop parameter with an associated cluster of properties is still a useful tool to capture the empirical and theoretical properties of null-subject languages. This conclusion is reached by considering the broad state-of-the art on i) the cluster properties correlated with pro-drop, with a special focus on the mutual correlation between the null-subject character of a language and the absence of expletives, ii) the types of null categories possibly involved in null subject phenomena (minimal NP; elided constituent, pro, PRO) and their identification mechanisms (agreement, ellipsis, topic chains, control), and iii) the typology of null-subject languages, with a special focus on partial null-subject languages.
Format: [ pdf ]
Reference: lingbuzz/004107
(please use that when you cite this article)
Published in: F. Cognola, J. Casalicchio (eds) (2018), Null Subjects in Generative Grammar. A synchronic and diachronic perspective. Oxford/New York: Oxford University Press
keywords: pro-drop parameter; cluster properties; expletives; types of null categories; identification of null categories; typology of null-subject languages; control., semantics, syntax
Downloaded:158 times


[ edit this article | back to article list ]