Is Chilean Spanish a Canonical pro-drop Variety? On Subjecthood in Chilean Spanish
Ivan Ortega-Santos
April 2022

The goal of this chapter is to unveil the main properties of syntactic subjects in Chilean Spanish by addressing the following research questions: (i) To what degree is Chilean Spanish similar/dissimilar to Caribbean Spanish?, (ii) Is Chilean Spanish a partial pro-drop variety? According to the Null Subject Parameter (NSP, Rizzi 1982), null subject languages have the following properties: (a) rich verbal morphology, (b) null subjects in finite clauses, (c) postverbal subjects (VS order), (c) loose locality effects (absence of that-trace effects). Caribbean dialects have received particular attention as they show both pro-drop and non-pro-drop properties. However, it remains an open question to what extend those properties are found in non-Caribbean Spanish and, most importantly, in other linguistic varieties within the so-called BajeƱo dialectal area. Data from corpora as well as from acceptability judgments indicate that Chilean Spanish displays some non-trivial overlapping with Caribbean Spanish with respect to pro-drop properties, and that it does not fit the partial pro-drop pattern consistently. This conclusion provides support for recent proposals according to which partiality in pro-drop properties is a matter of degree.
Format: [ pdf ]
Reference: lingbuzz/006588
(please use that when you cite this article)
Published in: To appear in C. Rodrigues, A. Saab (Eds.), Formal Approaches to Languages of South America. New York: Springer.
keywords: pro-drop, chilean spanish, subjects, partial pro-drop, syntax
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