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Subject doubling in European Portuguese dialects

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Abstract

This paper discusses a subject doubling construction found in European Portuguese dialects where the impersonal clitic <i>se</i> is doubled by a strong pronoun/DP. The availability of subject doubling is explained under the hypothesis that dialectal <i>se</i> escapes the Case filter because it is .-incomplete (plural, but person-less). <i>Se</i> and its doubler begin as a single constituent (a &#8220;big DP&#8221;); later, the clitic <i>se</i> head-moves to T while the doubling pronoun/DP takes one of the positions available to EP subjects (preverbal or post-verbal). This analysis rightly predicts that: (i) there is no fixed word order between <i>se</i> and its doubler, (ii) the doubling pronoun/DP controls subject-verb agreement, (iii) the interpretation of the double subject is compositional (the doubler establishes the inclusive or exclusive reading of impersonal se). The analysis also enlightens why the clitic <i>se</i> can behave as the universal plural anaphora or the expletive subject of impersonal predicates in some dialects.

References

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