Dissertation/Thesis Abstract

The Spanish Complementizer System: Consequences for the Syntax of Dislocations and Subjects, Locality of Movement, and Clausal Structure
by Villa-Garcia, Julio, Ph.D., University of Connecticut, 2012, 267; 3533970
Abstract (Summary)

This dissertation investigates the syntax of Spanish complementizers, with special attention to double-complementizer constructions and non-high que 'that' complementizers. The goal is to explore the consequences of the behavior and distribution of such complementizers for the mapping of the Spanish left periphery, the analysis of dislocations and preverbal subjects in Spanish, as well as more general issues concerning locality of movement and ellipsis.

Chapter 1 introduces the phenomena to be investigated and provides an outline of the dissertation.

Chapter 2 focuses on the phenomenon of recomplementation (i.e. the double-complementatizer construction) in Spanish and provides a number of arguments for analyzing the second instance of que as the head of TopicP in Rizzi's (1997 et seq.) split-CP system.

Chapter 3 provides a systematic comparison of recomplementation que and "jussive/optative" que, another non-high complementizer characteristic of subjunctive exhortative and desiderative clauses. The central claim of Chapter 3 is that the two complementizers constitute radically different phenomena and thus should be analyzed differently. I argue that whereas recomplementation que heads TopicP, "jussive/optative" que heads FinitenessP.

Chapter 4 builds on the findings of Chapter 3 and investigates the implications of "jussive/optative"-que clauses for the syntax of preverbal subjects in Spanish. I identify a configuration where only a genuine subject can occur, to the exclusion of non-subject preverbal XPs. I claim that this is the canonical subject position (i.e. Spec,TP) and that Spanish preverbal subjects are not always CP-related phenomena; they can also occur in Spec,TP, which is furthermore restricted to true subjects.

Chapter 5 investigates the locality of non-high complementizers. I show that movement across recomplementation que induces a locality-of-movement effect. I also show that sandwiched Clitic-Left Dislocated (CLLDed) phrases fail to show reconstruction effects, unlike their counterparts without recomplementation que. I therefore argue that sandwiched dislocates must be base-generated (i.e. directly merged) in between complementizers, the movement derivation of sandwiched dislocates being unavailable due to a locality violation. I then pursue the parallelism between the English that-t effect and the Spanish recomplementation-que-t effect and show that the contrast between the ungrammatical sentences where que is crossed and their grammatical counterparts without que can be accounted for in a principled way under the Rescue-by-PF-Deletion analysis of the mitigating effect of ellipsis/deletion on island violations.

Indexing (document details)
Advisor: Boskovic, Zeljko
Commitee: Bobaljik, Jonathan D., Boskovic, Zeljko, Nunes, Jairo
School: University of Connecticut
Department: Linguistics
School Location: United States -- Connecticut
Source: DAI-A 74/04(E), Dissertation Abstracts International
Subjects: Linguistics
Keywords: Complementizers, Left dislocation, Locality, Spanish, Subjects, Syntax
Publication Number: 3533970
ISBN: 978-1-267-79550-2
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