Séminaire de Recherche en Linguistique

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Description du séminaire Print

Titre Partitive pronouns in intransitive contexts: a violation of a syntactic constraint?
Conférencier Petra Sleeman (Universiteit van Amsterdam)
Date mardi 03 décembre 2019
Heure 12h15
Salle L208 (Bātiment Candolle)

The extraction of partitive pronouns has been shown to be subject to syntactic constraints. Belletti & Rizzi (1981) were among the first to provide a theoretical account of a subject-object asymmetry with respect to the extraction of the Italian partitive pronoun NE (Ne ho letto uno ‘I have read one’. Their analysis also bans extraction of NE from adverbial measure phrases used with intransitive verbs (such as ‘John walked two miles’).

The results of a grammaticality judgment task that I submitted to 12 native speakers of Catalan and 30 native speakers of Dutch show that they do make the subject-object distinction for partitive pronoun extraction in Catalan or Dutch, but, unexpectedly, that they also accept the use of the partitive pronoun with intransitive verbs such as ‘sleep’, ‘stay’ or ‘swim’.

On the basis of various constructions in Romance and Germanic languages, for part of which I collected additional grammaticality judgment data, I argue that the speakers do not violate a syntactic constraint on extraction of the partitive pronoun, but that, under certain circumstances, intransitive contexts may be reanalyzed as transitive contexts, for which I provide a syntactic account in terms of labeling (Chomsky 2013).

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