Basque nominalizations and the role 
of structural Case in the licensing of null arguments

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This article investigates the question of the licensing of null arguments in the so-called pro-drop languages. By focusing on the licensing of null subjects in the different types of -T(Z)E nominalizations in Basque, it aims at defining in a precise way the crucial feature that makes pro-drop possible in a clause. The central claim is that what licenses subject-drop is the assignment of structural Case. That is, it is argued that a subject can be null if and only if it is assigned structural Case. Different aspects of T(Z)E nominalizations are also explored, which show that even if these clauses are similar on the surface, they can be syntactically very different and furthermore, that infinitive clauses marked with the same nominalizing morpheme can also have diverging structures.


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