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Title: The Syntax of Headed Restrictive Relative Clauses with Special Reference to Spanish
Authors: Duncan, Jason D.
Keywords: Indo-European Languages
Romance Languages
Issue Date: 2004
Publisher: The Pennsylvania State University
Abstract: The topic of this dissertation is the syntax of headed restrictive relative clauses (RRCs) in Spanish. The dissertation has two main goals. One is to demonstrate that head raising (HR) approaches to RRCs are empirically inadequate and require more complex theoretical assumptions than a wh-movement approach to RRCs. The second goal is to demonstrate that the diachronic evolution of RRCs from Latin to Spanish (and more generally to Romance) can provide insight into some of the problems that are often associated with wh-movement based-accounts of RRCs. Tracing the historical development of RRCs sheds light on the poorly understood and complex problem of variation in the CP area of RRCs. Especially in Spanish and Romance, information about the diachronic evolution of RRCs provides a means of understanding the distribution of inflected relative pronouns (such as Spanish quien and el cual ) and uninflected complementizers (i.e., Spanish que ) in the CP area of RRCs. Chapter 1 introduces the topic and provides the background and motivation of the study. Chapter 2 provides a detailed explanation of the head raising approach, as presented by those who support it in the literature (especially Kayne 1994; Bianchi 1999; Bianchi 2000b; De Vries 2002). After explaining the head raising approach in detail, it is argued that adopting a head raising approach to RRCs leaves a number of key issues unexplained and forces the assumption that semantically equivalent RRC structures (i.e., The man who I saw vs. The man that I saw vs. The man I saw ) have important differences in their underlying syntactic structure. Chapter 3 outlines the standard wh-dependency approach to RRCs that was developed within the Government and Binding (GB) framework. This chapter gives an overview of the basic wh-movement approach and discusses some of the problems traditionally associated with this approach, including cross-linguistic variation in the CP area of RRCs, the Doubly Filled COMP filter and That-trace effects. Chapter 4 addresses the diachronic development of RRCs, arguing that RRCs in modern Romance languages, and specifically in Spanish, arose from earlier correlative structures. Previous proposals concerning the transition from correlatives to post-nominal RRCs are presented and then a novel analysis is offered which avoids the problems identified with the previous accounts. Finally, Chapter 5 explores how postnominal RRCs in Latin, which were introduced by inflected forms of the indefinite pronoun qui , evolved into RRCs in modern Romance languages, including Spanish. Unlike Latin, Spanish and other Romance languages employ a combination of inflected pronominal forms (such as quien/quienes and el/la que ) and uninflected complementizers (i.e., que ) in the CP area of RRCs. Following recent work by Roberts and Rossou (2003), it is argued that complemetizers evolved from earlier Latin pronominal forms of qui via a process of syntactic reanalysis (also called grammaticalization). Chapter 5 also applies the analysis of RRCs presented here to many different types of Spanish RRCs and summarizes the main results of the dissertation.
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