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NPI-licensing in the subjunctive-like 'da'-clauses in Serbian

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  • UserNataša Milićević (Tilburg University)
  • ClockTuesday 06 May 2008, 18:00-19:00
  • House(SyntaxLab).

If you have a question about this talk, please contact Dr Anne Breitbarth.

The topic of this talk is the licensing of NPIs by a higher negation in Serbian in the ‘subjunctive-like da clauses’ exemplified in (1). The licensing of n-words in the apparently embedded finite clause together with the clitic climbing has been taken as an indication that the construction in question (modal/intensional verb + embedded verb) is a mono-clausal structure. This has been argued to be an effect of the COMP /INFL-deletion at LF in Progovac (1994), or the result of the functional status of the higher, restructuring verb as in Stjepanović (2001) in the spirit or Wurmbrand (2001). I follow the observation by Aljović (2004) that the domain of licensing of n-words is wider than the domain that allows clitic-climbing in Serbian, as shown in (2), and involves at least the TP functional layer. More precisely, the blocking of clitic climbing by negation is due the existence of the extended/functional layer of VP in the presence of the negated higher verb. I add to her conclusion the data in (3), which have not been discussed so far. (3a) exemplifies the subject/object asymmetry in licensing of n-words by the higher negation, while in (3b) we are witnessing the break-down of the general rule of complementary distribution of the i-words and n-words in the case of indicative clauses. Most importantly, unlike (1) this example shows that key to a proper solution of this problem in the “subjunctive-like” complements does not lie in the varying size of the subjunctive ‘_da_- clause’, since these two types of NPIs can co-occur . The approach the issue that I will present points again to the parallelism between the wh and n-words distribution, and extends the feature-checking analysis of the ECP effects in the domain of wh-movement (Pesetsky and Torrego 2004) to the latter case. However, the data also lead to a conclusion that the checking domain for neg-features and negative concord is not as local as often suggested.

Examples:

(1)Ne želim da vidim nikoga/?ikoga.

not want.1sg that see.1sg noone/anyone.
“I don’t want to see anyone”

(2)Marija {(x)ga}ne želi da ga proda nikome.

Mary it not wants that it sells noone
“Mary doesn’t want to sell it to anyone.”

(3) a. Ne želim da (x)niko/iko poseti Mariju.

not want.1sg that noone/anyone visits Mary
“ I don’t want anyone to visit Mary.”
b. Ne želim niko da ikoga povredi.
not want.1.Sg noone  that anyone hurts
“I want no one to hurt anyone.”

This talk is part of the The development of negation in the languages of Europe series.

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