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Variation in PComparative Approaches to Adpositional Phrases$
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Jacopo Garzonio and Silvia Rossi

Print publication date: 2020

Print ISBN-13: 9780190931247

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: April 2020

DOI: 10.1093/oso/9780190931247.001.0001

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P and the Emergence of the Infinitival Left Periphery

P and the Emergence of the Infinitival Left Periphery

(p.135) Chapter 5 P and the Emergence of the Infinitival Left Periphery
Variation in P

Joachim Sabel

Oxford University Press

Languages differ with respect to whether they allow for infinitival interrogatives and infinitival relative clauses. In order to explain this variation, this chapter postulates the “Wh-Infinitive-Generalization” that links the (non-)availability of infinitival interrogatives/relatives to morphological properties of the infinitival C-system. Based on synchronic and diachronic evidence, it is shown that wh-infinitives are impossible in languages in which the left periphery of the infinitive cannot be occupied by a phonetically realized prepositional complementizer. In contrast, languages with wh-infinitives do exhibit prepositional complementizers as a result of grammaticalization. In order to derive the “Wh-Infinitive-Generalization,” the author argues that infinitival C0 is “defective” in languages without wh-infinitives (/ infinitival relatives) where “defective” infinitival C0 is understood in analogy to defective T0def, i.e. C0def cannot bear the complete range of features specific for C0 (i.e. [focus]-, [wh]-, [topic]-, and [pred]-features). As a consequence, the specifier of C0def, like the specifier of T0def, may serve only as an intermediate but not as a final landing site of movement.

Keywords:   grammaticalization, prepositional complementizer, wh-infinitive, (partial) wh-movement, pied-piping, scrambling, root infinitive, incomplete feature set, infinitival relative, Verb Second (V2)

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