Cartographic-based research on clausal left peripheries, which assumes multiple discourse-related heads such as Focus, Topic, and Interrogative, has yielded many interesting empirical results. Nevertheless, the theoretical tension between cartography and a true minimalist approach is not easily resolved. This paper argues for a simplified left periphery consisting of two dedicated heads, Force and Fin(ite), with the possibility of multiple a-categorial Discourse Shells (following Emonds 2004) between the two. The empirical data underlying this proposal come from Asturian, a Western Iberian language, drawn principally from Fernández-Rubiera (2009), concerning patterns of cliticization (enclisis vs. proclisis) in the presence of different fronted elements. A crucial distinction is established between clauses which link directly or indirectly to the discourse context vs. those which do not; enclisis is possible only in the former. The analysis proposes that enclisis results when fronted elements appear, either via movement (internal Merge) or base-generation (external Merge), in these Discourse Shells. CLLD in discourse-linked clauses yields enclisis, while CLLD in non discourse-linked clauses yields proclisis.
Selected Proceedings of the 15th Hispanic Linguistics Symposium
edited by Chad Howe, Sarah E. Blackwell, and Margaret Lubbers Quesada
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