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Title: The two si's of Italian
Authors: Napoli, Donna Jo
Keywords: Indo-European Languages
Romance Languages
Issue Date: 1976
Publisher: Georgetown University
Abstract: Italian has two clitic si's: one generated by the transforma-tional rule REFLEXIVE, the other generated by the transformational rule si-INSERTION. Reflexive si arises in constructions with two coreferential NP's present in the same simplex sentence. One of these NP's may be transformationally generated by a copy rule, as is the case with the middle voice contructions. One middle voice construction, inchoative, is examined in detail and shown to have an empty deep subject node and to have the surface subject origi-nating in deep object position. si-INSERTION occurs in constructions with a first person plu-ral definite subject or a third person plural indefinite (generic or specific) subject. I call sentences with this si "indefinite si sentences." At a certain point in the derivation of an indefi-nite si sentence such a sentence may be superficially identical to a sentence with reflexive si. At this point rules of analogy allow the indefinite si sentence to be treated as a reflexive si sentence with respect to several syntactic rules. The two si's of Italian, while perhaps diachronically related, are no longer related in modern Italian. Only analogy bridges the gap between them.
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