Pseudorelative, gerundi e infiniti nelle varietà romanze: affinità (solo) superficiali e corrispondenze strutturali

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Abstract

The main topic of this monograph is a comparison among sentential predicative constructions in the Romance languages. Whereas Pseudo-relative clauses are almost universally used in the Romance domain (with some parametrical differences), predicative gerunds and prepositional infinitives, the other two sentential predicative constructions, are restricted to some varieties. This comparative view, which takes into account both the different Romance varieties and the different constructions, is missing in previous studies on this topic.The aim of my work consists in filling this gap and in comparing these three constructions among them and with respect to the bare infinitive, which has been considered sometimes as another predicative structure like the Pseudo-relative clause. Finally, I will analyse the use of gerundive (and parallel infinitival clauses) in the Ladin varieties, where a highly conservative nature is displayed, as is already shown by the fact that this type of clauses is maintained - within Italy - only in Ladin and in Sardinian.The thesis defended in this volume is that Pseudo-Relatives, predicative gerunds and prepositional infinitives are to be all analysed as predicative Small Clauses. Each of these constructions can enter three different syntactical structures, depending on the context, as proposed in Cinque (1992) and as shown by numerous tests. Gerunds and predicative infinitives seem to have a particularly close structural correspondence, the only difference consisting in verb movement: when the verb raises above a phonetically empty position located in CP, the incorporation of the two elements takes place generating the gerundial form. When the verb cannot move to the preposition, the result is a prepositional infinitive, the preposition a being realised. This analysis does not hold for the Ladin data, though, because the gerunds and the prepositional infinitives of these varieties show some differences with respect to the corresponding constructions in the other Romance varieties. This peculiar behavior in Ladin exactly matches the one observed in bare infinitive clauses with perception verbs. Therefore, I hypothesize that Ladin gerunds and prepositional infinitives enter the so-called 'ECM' structure, like the bare infinitives of the main Romance languages.This work is relevant for the comparative Romance research field, where a comparison among different predicative constructions has never been proposed before. Moreover, I show that Ladin varieties are also syntactically conservative. Further interesting points for future research can be found in a new analysis of the gerunds (not only the predicative ones) as the result of an incorporation process involving both a non-finite verb and a zero preposition. Finally, my account reveals that the traditional analysis interpreting the Romance bare infinitives as ECM structures cannot account for all the characteristics of this construction in the Romance languages.
Original languageItalian
PublisherLincom Europa
Number of pages391
ISBN (Print)9783862884483
Publication statusPublished - 2013

Publication series

NameLINCOM STUDIES IN ROMANCE LINGUISTICS

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