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The Predicationality Hypothesis

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Abstract

Cataphoric propositional pronoun insertion (CPPI) in complex sentences is subject to language-specific restrictions. In Hungarian, the insertion of the cataphoric propositional pronoun <i>azt</i> is possible in complex sentences with assertive matrix verbs (&#8216;say&#8217;), but not with factives (&#8216;regret&#8217;), while German displays a mirror pattern. <br />In our strictly modular theoretical framework we argue that CPPI is dependent on the syntactic type and the realization of Spec-CP in the embedded clause. In accordance with Chomsky (2008), we assume that the derivation of Spec-CP results from the instantiation of the edge-feature (EF) in C. <br />Narrow Syntax is, however, only responsible for the actual derivation of Spec-CP, not for the interpretational effects of this position. The discourse-semantic content of Spec-CP can vary among different languages. In Hungarian the EF is associated with the predicational status of the embedded clause, and in German it is associated with the clause&#8217;s non-predicational status (the <i>Predicationality Hypothesis</i>).

References

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