Volume 43, Issue 1
  • ISSN 0378-4169
  • E-ISSN: 1569-9927
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In this article, we propose a treatment of French clitic climbing as an instance of morphological periphrasis. In particular we reexamine the evidence in favour of argument composition and a flat VP structure with tense auxiliaries (Abeillé & Godard, 2002) and show (i) that the V (vs. VP) status of the complement does not strictly correlate with the possibility of clitic climbing, (ii) that transparency in bounded dependencies transcends the class of argument composition verbs, and (iii) that a flat VP structure complicates the treatment of modification and coordination. Adopting an approach in terms of periphrastic realisation along the lines of Bonami (2015), we provide a treatment of the climbing facts that does full justice to the limited mobility and their morphologically bound status (Miller, 1992) without having to rely on a flat VP structure. Finally, we show that the pronominalisation and extraction facts can be dealt with in a uniform fashion by way of constraints on canonical vs. non-canonical argument realisation.


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  • Article Type: Research Article
Keyword(s): clitic climbing; flat structure; French VP; hierarchical structure; periphrasis
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