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‘Pronounce φ’: ‘Number’ Clitics in a Non-Redundant Null-Subject System

Type of publication Not peer-reviewed
Publikationsform Original article (non peer-reviewed)
Author CaterinaBonan,
Project The fine structure of Romance interrogative it-clefts
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Original article (non peer-reviewed)

Volume (Issue) 13
Page(s) 1 - 34

Open Access

Type of Open Access Publisher (Gold Open Access)


This paper focuses on the very specific linguistic domain of nominative (NOM) clitics of the ‘number’ class (Poletto 2000) in ‘non-redundant null-subject systems’ (Roberts 2010). Concretely, I adapt Roberts’ (2007) analysis of French NOM enclitics in ‘complex inversion’ structures to both the assertive and the interrogative NOM clitics of Trevisan, a Venetan dialect. Number clitics, I claim, are not pronominal elements but an inflec- tional class that surfaces as a consequence of a positive setting of Rizzi’s (2017) Spell-Out parameter, i.e., an instruction to pronounce the criterial feature(s). This treatment of number clitics has three main theoretical advantages: (i) it explains their morphosyntactic peculiarities wrt to non-NOM clitic pronouns; (ii) it accounts for the morphological variations and different distributions wrt the V of the assertive vs interrogative series; (iii) it explains their omission in ‘long-subject extraction’ environments, i.e., relatives and it-clefts (Rizzi & Shlonsky 2007, Bonan 2017).