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Foundational Issues in Linguistic TheoryEssays in Honor of Jean-Roger Vergnaud$
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Robert Freidin, Carlos P. Otero, and Maria Luisa Zubizarreta

Print publication date: 2008

Print ISBN-13: 9780262062787

Published to MIT Press Scholarship Online: August 2013

DOI: 10.7551/mitpress/9780262062787.001.0001

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Some Preliminary Comparative Remarks on French and Italian Definite Articles

Some Preliminary Comparative Remarks on French and Italian Definite Articles

Chapter:
(p.291) 12 Some Preliminary Comparative Remarks on French and Italian Definite Articles
Source:
Foundational Issues in Linguistic Theory
Author(s):

Richard S. Kayne

Publisher:
The MIT Press
DOI:10.7551/mitpress/9780262062787.003.0013

This chapter examines parametric variation within the nominal domain and shows that crosslinguistic variation across a variety of nominal constructions can be linked to a single parameter: the presence versus absence of an overt determiner in French versus Italian. Drawing on the determiner phrase hypothesis and remnant movement, it compares three structures in French and Italian: superlatives, which-phrases with a silent noun, and mass nouns/partitives. It illustrates how Romance bare plurals arguably contain a definite article of the sort seen overtly in French partitives. It also discusses interrogatives and English possessors.

Keywords:   parametric variation, crosslinguistic variation, French, Italian, determiner phrase, superlatives, which-phrases, mass nouns, partitives, definite article

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