Some silent first person plurals

Richard S. Kayne

    Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapter


    In order to account for morphosyntactic microvariation, an approach based on silent elements provides an alternative (one that is more tightly tied to other aspects of syntax) to an approach based on syncretism: languages are not more or less syncretic, they just happen to have a certain distribution of empty morphemes. This chapter analyses cases of 3rd person clitics in French and Italian (on, ci), which, in addition to their impersonal use, are also used as 1st person plural pronouns. It proposes that these impersonal pronouns do not convey 1st person plural, but rather a silent WE pronoun present in the syntax does. The chapter analyzes which element (WE o impersonal clitic) is responsible for a variety of syntactic phenomena.

    Original languageEnglish (US)
    Title of host publicationMerging Features
    Subtitle of host publicationComputation, Interpretation, and Acquisition
    PublisherOxford University Press
    ISBN (Electronic)9780191720833
    ISBN (Print)9780199553266
    StatePublished - May 1 2009


    • Ci
    • Impersonal constructions
    • On
    • Romance languages
    • Silent elements
    • Subject pronouns
    • We pronoun present

    ASJC Scopus subject areas

    • General Arts and Humanities


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