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Auteur: Adriana BELLETTI

Different syntactic constructions, same local syntactic dependencies. Relatives, Passive and Romance causatives

Abstract/Résumé: A central idea since GB/P&P and Minimalism is that the term “syntactic construction” only has an observational/descriptive status directly inherited from traditional grammatical descriptions; in fact, the same formal devices guide the syntactic computation of different constructions. Thus, different syntactic constructions may share many more similarities than meets the eye once the ultimate computational mechanisms are taken into account. The talk addresses this traditional topic in formal syntax by considering the similar core mechanisms through which local dependencies are realized in different constructions such as relatives, passives and causatives. The featural approach to locality under Relativized Minimality (Rizzi 1990, 2004; Starke 2001) and the approach to passives and (Romance) causatives in terms of the operation moving a verbal chunk called smuggling in Collins (2005), constitute the fundamental formal ingredients shared by the different constructions examined. Evidence from acquisition will also be shown to highlight aspects of the functioning of the core mechanisms in these domains.