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Predication and the nature of non-finite relatives in Romance

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Abstract

This paper investigates non-finite verbal constituents that qualify as modal non-finite relatives in Romanian, French, and Italian. We show that these constructions are reduced relatives based on the relativization of the object. The analysis extends to reduced relatives in general, and argues for a different head edge in these clauses: i.e., PredP versus CP (as assumed in the literature); the Pred head attracts the closest active nominal, which is not Case-marked. Consequently, Romance modal non-finite relatives qualify as passive structures dominated by a functional head that selects a non-finite (deficient) TP in Western Romance and a vP in Romanian. We extend this analysis to tough- constructions; crucially, the difference between predicative and argumental infinitives in Romance is that between full and reduced clauses: the former have a subject position and an EPP-feature satisfied (qualifying as strong phases), whereas raising, object-gap infinitives do not have these properties, and behave as weak phases.

References

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