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Function without content

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Abstract

In this paper we provide new evidence for the assumption that the content of functional categories should be dissociated from its function (Ritter &#38; Wiltschko 2009, 2011). In particular, we discuss evidence from lexicalization patterns. On standard assumptions, functional categories are intrinsically associated with content; consequently the exponents that spell out these functional categories would also be expected to be intrinsically associated with content. We argue that <i>na</i> spells out INFL before it is associated with any kind of content. This allows for a straightforward explanation of the seemingly erratic distribution of <i>na</i>. We further explore the consequences of this analysis and we provide evidence from the Down Syndrome grammar.

References

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