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12. Romanian possessive clitics revisited

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Abstract

This paper questions the view according to which Romanian dative/genitive possessive clitics can be placed both dp-internally and dp-externally. The clitics in the two constructions are argued to be only superficially identical. The clitic within the dp is a possessive clitic, valued genitive, which does not move out of the dp and cannot be doubled. The one placed in the clausal domain, at the left periphery of the clause, is an indirect object, base-generated inside the vp, and valued dative. Its possessive interpretation is context dependent, being semantically (or pragmatically) determined. The difference with respect to the availability of possessive clitic raising and doubling is accounted for within a<i>Derivation by Phase </i>framework (Chomsky 1999). The proposal is that dp-internal clitics are ‘frozen’ within the dp phase and consequently cannot move to the left periphery of the clause. Both the impossibility of their moving out of the dp to the clausal domain as well as the ambiguity of the sentences containing clausal dative clitics are accounted for in terms of the Attract Closest condition redefined in terms of phases.

References

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