The Speaker's Projection

Alessandra Giorgi

in About the Speaker

Published in print December 2009 | ISBN: 9780199571895
Published online February 2010 | e-ISBN: 9780191722073 | DOI:

Series: Oxford Studies in Theoretical Linguistics No. 28

The Speaker's Projection

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In this chapter I address some questions concerning the interpretation of an embedded verbal form in Italian. In this language, as in several other Romance and Germanic languages, the embedded verbal form can appear in the indicative, with the same set of endings used in main clauses, or it can appear with verbal endings which are not compatible with main assertions, i.e. the subjunctive. I show that the alternation indicative/subjunctive might be expressed by the introduction into the embedded clause of the representation of the temporal and spatial location of the speaker. I compare Italian and English, where English does not distinguish between indicative and subjunctive in the same way Italian does. I show that, in spite of the superficial differences, the representation of speaker's coordinates in embedded clauses holds in English as well and contributes to explaining many facts concerning Sequence of Tense properties.

Keywords: indicative; subjunctive; speaker; Complementizer; Complementizer‐layer; indexicality; context

Chapter.  18250 words. 

Subjects: Semantics

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