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Merging FeaturesComputation, Interpretation, and Acquisition$
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José M. Brucart, Anna Gavarró, and Jaume Solà

Print publication date: 2009

Print ISBN-13: 9780199553266

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: May 2009

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780199553266.001.0001

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Some silent first person plurals *

Some silent first person plurals *

Chapter:
(p.276) 15 Some silent first person plurals*
Source:
Merging Features
Author(s):

Richard S. Kayne (Contributor Webpage)

Publisher:
Oxford University Press
DOI:10.1093/acprof:oso/9780199553266.003.0015

In order to account for morphosyntactic microvariation, an approach based on silent elements provides an alternative (one that is more tightly tied to other aspects of syntax) to an approach based on syncretism: languages are not more or less syncretic, they just happen to have a certain distribution of empty morphemes. This chapter analyses cases of 3rd person clitics in French and Italian (on, ci), which, in addition to their impersonal use, are also used as 1st person plural pronouns. It proposes that these impersonal pronouns do not convey 1st person plural, but rather a silent WE pronoun present in the syntax does. The chapter analyzes which element (WE o impersonal clitic) is responsible for a variety of syntactic phenomena.

Keywords:   subject pronouns, silent elements, Romance languages, impersonal constructions, on, ci, WE pronoun present

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