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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

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

Joachim Sabel

Publisher:
Oxford University Press
DOI:10.1093/oso/9780190931247.003.0006

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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