Volume 7, Issue 1
  • ISSN 0378-4169
  • E-ISSN: 1569-9927
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The present paper has two intimately connected goals; It aims at contributing to Chomsky's "Government Binding Theory" and also at providing a fairly detailed comparative analysis of French and English impersonal constructions. Its contribution comes under the guise of (a) an Agreement Theory (see section 2), (b) a general constraint on impersonal chains (see (72)) and (c) a new nominative Case assignment rule: it is suggested that in French and Italian (but not in English) "ergative verbs" (in Burzio (1981) 'sense) can assign nominative Case to their "object". Furthermore, as has become standard in recent comparative work in the GB framework, the paper attempts to isolate the parameters that are responsible for the minimally distinct properties of the constructions under investigation. It is shown here that they can be traced back to the interplay of a Case parameter, the morphological properties of expletive elements (il vs there) and the properties of Universal Grammar.


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  • Article Type: Research Article
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