Chapter

Ineffability through Modularity: Gaps in the French Clitic Cluster<sup>*</sup>

Milan Rezac

in Defective Paradigms

Published by British Academy

Published in print May 2010 | ISBN: 9780197264607
Published online February 2012 | e-ISBN: 9780191734366 | DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.5871/bacad/9780197264607.003.0009

Series: Proceedings of the British Academy

Ineffability through Modularity: Gaps in the French Clitic Cluster*

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This chapter discusses the gaps in some of the combinations of the preverbal clitics in French. These gaps present a powerful tool for evaluating the foundational hypothesis governing the architecture of the language, particularly the morphophonology-free syntax (MFS) of the language. In the French clitic cluster, the gaps are divided into two categories: the syntactic groups and non-syntactic groups. The syntactic groups invoke syntactic information. The non-syntactic groups meanwhile are comprised of gaps invisible to syntax and dependent on morphophonological information and mechanisms. Also discussed in the chapter is the Person Case Constraint, a syntactic principle that forms the foundation against which other gaps may be measured. Some anomalous combinations are also discussed in the chapter. These combinations betray the workings of the extra-syntactic system which manipulates the morphological features and which imposes constraints on such combinations.

Keywords: gaps; preverbal clitics; French; French clitic cluster; syntactic groups; syntax; Person Case Constraint

Chapter.  11871 words. 

Subjects: Grammar, Syntax and Morphology

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