Null Subjects and optional infinitives in Basque

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Child root infinitives are considered to be underspecified structures with frequent null subjects. This paper deals with the study of the overt and non-overt subjects of the structures of root infinitives found in early speech production in Basque language, in order to determine whether there is a direct relationship between the different properties of the subjects and the presence of overt inflection in child speech. No underspecification has been observed during the root infinitive stage in this language where root infinitives are frequent also in the adult language. Finally, child Basque root infinitives have been interpreted as null auxiliary (auxiliary or modal) finite verbs and the target-deviant infinitivals have been explained as consequence of the less restrictive nature of the mechanisms that license root infinitives in the target language.


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