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Romanian genderless pronouns and parasitic gaps

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Abstract

I argue that the distribution of (overt) object clitics and null objects in Romanian can be explained if we assume that the so-called “neuter pronouns” of Romanian are genderless. I show that Romanian has a null object used as a bound variable with a neuter pronoun antecedent. This item differs from parasitic gaps by the fact that it does not require an A-bar moved antecedent and can only occur with neuter pronouns, while overt clitics are excluded in this context. I propose that this is due to the fact that object clitics are always marked for gender, while neuter pronouns are genderless. I present independent evidence for the proposal that the so-called “neuter pronouns” of Romanian and other Romance languages, definite as well as indefinite and quantificational, lack a value for Gender.

References

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