Overt PRO in Romance

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Several types of infinitives in Spanish, Italian, and Catalan can have overt nominative subjects. These elements are morphologically pronominal although they are syntactically anaphoric in Obligatory Control contexts and pronominal in Nonobligatory Control contexts. The data will be taken as evidence for a unification of PRO and pro to an externally merged D head with fully variable phi-features (in the spirit of Sigurðsson’s (2008) notion of ‘reference variable’), whose status with respect to Binding Theory is determined by interpretable features on T, implementing a version of Borer’s (1989) and Landau’s (2000, 2004) anaphoric AGR. In this approach, overt subjects in infinitives are the result of post-syntactic realization of D[φ:_], triggered by discourse-related rather than Case-related needs.


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