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Topics in Portuguese syntax: The licensing of T and D

Madeira, Ana Maria Lavadinho; (1995) Topics in Portuguese syntax: The licensing of T and D. Doctoral thesis (Ph.D), UCL (University College London). Green open access

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Abstract

The purpose of this thesis is to provide a detailed analysis of two phenomena in Portuguese which will be argued to crucially involve the complementiser (C) position: the inflected infinitive and pronominal clitic placement. The analysis is formulated in the Minimalist framework (Chomsky 1993, 1995). In chapter 1 I provide a brief introduction to the discussion, by presenting an outline of the issues to be considered and offering an overview of the proposals to be made. Both chapters 2 and 3 are devoted to the inflected infinitive. In chapter 2 the data is introduced, as well as the main idea behind the analysis suggested here, i.e. that inflected infinitives are possible in languages which make use of a marked option in UG allowing an infinitival T to be associated with Case features, which, in the absence of finite morphology, has to be licensed by C. This process of licensing is the subject of chapter 3. First, a characterisation of the properties of the infinitival T is provided and then the structure of each of the contexts exhibiting inflected infinitives, and in particular the properties of their C-position, are investigated. This leads me to the conclusion that the strategy followed for licensing of the Case features of the infinitival T by C is determined by the content of C; an empty C triggers T-raising, while a filled C can satisfy the licensing requirement of T through a dependency. A similar approach is taken in chapter 4 regarding the licensing of clitic pronouns. I consider clitic placement in finite and infinitival contexts and argue that the apparently many differences between (European) Portuguese and other Romance languages may be reduced to just one, namely the fact that both C and I (as opposed to only I) have the ability to license clitics in Portuguese. This is related to another unique property of Portuguese, the fact that a special functional head between C and I is provided for clitic movement, as argued by Rouveret (1992). The different patterns found, i.e. enclisis and proclisis, are derived from the different licensing strategies available. The clitic may be licensed by a filled C, or it may be licensed by I, which either adjoins to the clitic position or allows the clitic to adjoin to it.

Type: Thesis (Doctoral)
Qualification: Ph.D
Title: Topics in Portuguese syntax: The licensing of T and D
Open access status: An open access version is available from UCL Discovery
Language: English
Additional information: Thesis digitised by ProQuest.
Keywords: Language, literature and linguistics; Portuguese; Syntax
URI: https://discovery.ucl.ac.uk/id/eprint/10101608
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