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‘Minimal link constraint’ violations

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Abstract

This paper continues the long-standing discussion whether clitics in clitic doubling constructions should be regarded as being similar to affixes expressing subject–verb agreement or rather as reflexes of movement. A crosslinguistic comparison of clitics will show that although clitics come in different flavors either as phi-features or as determiners, they are all the result of an overt feature movement to repair violations of the Minimal Link Constraint (MLC) (Anagnostopoulou 2005). Raising constructions in Greek, Romanian and Spanish use clitic doubling as a strategy to avoid minimality effects. On the basis of a parallel between clitic doubling and Raising, I will conclude that they are the outcome of two different operations Move vs. (Long Distance) Agree but both are sensitive to MLC and are regulated by a phase-based locality condition (the Phase Impenetrability Condition).

References

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