A new perspective on Clitic Doubling on the basis of Modern Greek. Evidence for a movement-free account

Martin Salzmann (UPenn)
Event time: 
Monday, September 11, 2023 - 4:00pm to 5:30pm
Zoom / Dow Hall room 201 (LingSem) See map
Event description: 

In this talk, we will investigate the syntax of the hitherto understudied phenomenon of first conjunct clitic doubling, with reference to Modern Greek. We argue that it provides crucial evidence against movement-based approaches to clitic doubling, which would incorrectly rule out first conjunct clitic doubling as a violation of the Coordinate Structure Constraint. This argument against movement is complemented by evidence from binding, showing that doubled DPs consistently occupy their base positions. The Greek data instead favor an account based purely on feature transmission via Agree. We develop an Agree-based analysis of the Greek facts, and show that existing evidence for movement in Greek clitic doubling (weak crossover alleviation, suspension of intervention effects) can be insightfully reanalyzed. The alleviation of weak crossover effects receives a more straightforward account compared to movement-based approaches, in that it can be subsumed under the general mitigating effects of information structure (givenness, topicality); the intervention pattern follows once the activity of a DP is related to the involvement of its phi-features in Agree operations, and the distribution of clitic doubling is implemented by means of a licensing approach, assimilating clitic doubling to differential object marking. Finally, time permitting, we will address two morphological aspects of clitic doubling that are often taken to be challenging for an Agree-based account, namely, the syncretism between determiners and clitics, and tense invariance. We show that, upon closer inspection, the former is no less challenging for movement approaches, while the latter cannot be considered a reliable diagnostic to tease apart agreement and clitic doubling.

Event Type: