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Null Subjects in Generative Grammar – A Synchronic and Diachronic Perspective - Oxford Scholarship Online
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Null Subjects in Generative Grammar: A Synchronic and Diachronic Perspective

Federica Cognola and Jan Casalicchio


This book considers the null-subject phenomenon, whereby some languages lack an overtly realized referential subject in specific contexts. In generative syntax—the approach adopted in this volume—the phenomenon has traditionally been explained in terms of a ‘pro-drop’ parameter with associated cluster properties; more recently, however, it has become clear that pro-drop phenomena do not always correlate with all the initially predicted cluster properties. This volume returns to the centre of the debate surrounding the empirical phenomena associated with null subjects. Experts in the field expl ... More

Keywords: pro-drop, parameters, types of null categories, control, expletives, minimalism, language variation, language change

Bibliographic Information

Print publication date: 2018 Print ISBN-13: 9780198815853
Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: June 2018 DOI:10.1093/oso/9780198815853.001.0001


Affiliations are at time of print publication.

Federica Cognola, editor
Contract Lecturer in German Linguistics, University of Trento

Jan Casalicchio, editor
Post-Doctoral Researcher, University of Trento

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1 On the null-subject phenomenon

Federica Cognola and Jan Casalicchio

Part I Properties of null-subject languages

2 On nó as an optional expletive in Vietnamese

Ciro Greco, Trang Phan, and Liliane Haegeman

3 Developing pro-drop

Ermenegildo Bidese and Alessandra Tomaselli

Part II Types of null subjects and identification

Part IIa Null subjects and control theory

Part IIb Null subjects between discourse and agreement

11 Referential null subjects in German

Helmut Weiß and Anna Volodina