Sentential Particles and Remnant Movement

Cecilia Poletto and Raffaella Zanuttini

in Mapping the Left Periphery

Published in print January 2011 | ISBN: 9780199740376
Published online May 2011 | e-ISBN: 9780199895304 | DOI:

Series: Oxford Studies in Comparative Syntax

Sentential Particles and Remnant Movement

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The sentential particle mo occurs in imperative and interrogative clauses in several Northern Italian dialects exhibiting puzzling distributional and interpretive differences. It is proposed that mo (which starts out in one of the IP layers) occurs in one of the CP layers; the distributional differences arise from the fact that different amounts of structure lower than CP can move (or fail to move) to a position higher than mo in different dialects. It is argued that the interpretive differences result from the fact that mo acquires its interpretation via binding by an operator. The possible binders for mo are elements that connect the sentence to the contexts of utterance, providing either the time of the speech act, the speaker or the addressee. The interpretation that mo exhibits in a given variety depends on which of these operators is in a structural configuration that makes it the closest binder.

Keywords: sentential particles; Northern Italian dialects; rhaetoromance; imperatives; interrogatives

Chapter.  10252 words. 

Subjects: Grammar, Syntax and Morphology

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