Criterial positions as diagnostics in Italo-Romance: some highs and lows
Valentina Colasanti
January 2022

This paper argues that not all [C > XPTop/Foc > V] word orders in upper-southern Italo-Romance necessarily involve movement into the high left periphery. In at least some cases, XPTop/Foc can be shown to occupy the low left periphery, instead. If correct, such criterial XPs cannot be used to diagnose the relative position of complementizer forms within the high left periphery, contrary to what is assumed in Cardullo (2021). I build this argument using novel data from two understudied varieties of Southern Lazio and Northern Campania. Given that the finite verb generally moves no higher than the lower adverb space in southern Italo-Romance, I use adverbs from Cinque’s (1999) hierarchy to show that at least some XPTop/Foc in the above configuration occupy this same low adverb space as well, meaning they cannot be above the Fin position within the high left periphery. From their low position near the edge of vP, these criterial XPs can tell us nothing about whether a given C form is in Force vs. Fin; other diagnostics must be relied upon instead. In addition to providing a cautionary tale regarding the use of criterial XPs as positional diagnostics, this paper represents a first step toward mapping the low left periphery in southern Italo-Romance.
Format: [ pdf ]
Reference: lingbuzz/006416
(please use that when you cite this article)
Published in: Revue Roumaine de Linguistique
keywords: italo-romance, complementizers, criterial positions, high left periphery, low left periphery, syntax
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