Case morphology and radical <i>pro</i>-drop

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This paper focuses on the so-called <i>discourse pro-drop </i>languages,<br />i.e., those permitting radical pro-drop, which affects not just subjects,<br />but other pronominal arguments too. Whereas previous attempts to<br />understand the properties of these languages have focused on verbal<br />agreement, the proposal here is that it is in fact the properties of the<br />pronominal paradigm that determine the availability or otherwise of<br />radical pro-drop. In particular, we propose that radical pro-drop will<br />only be possible in languages with “transparent” (i.e., non-fusional)<br />pronominal paradigms, since pro-drop falls out as the consequence<br />of the zero spell-out of regular pronouns. On the empirical front, we<br />show that investigation of a wide range of languages would seem toconfirm our prediction.


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