University of Pennsylvania Working Papers in Linguistics


Subject clitics (SCLs) are a debated topic regarding their structural position and their categorial status. Accounting for a phenomenon he observed in some Francoprovencal varieties and that he calls `OCL-for-SCL', Roberts (2015, 2018b) proposes that SCLs in Francoprovencal are the result of the morphophonological process of fission. Focusing on a particular variety of Francoprovencal (the Fenisan Francoprovencal, or FFP), and based on Roberts' (2010) approach of cliticization as incorporation, this study shows that Roberts' proposal on the nature of SCLs in Francoprovencal cannot account for the data in FFP. Relying on the behavior of subject and object clitics with lexical and functional verbs, I show that SCLs in FFP are better analyzed as syntactic objects base-generated in argumental position inside the vP/VP domain. FFP also provides new arguments for considering both the auxiliary and possessive verb have and both the auxiliary and copular verb be as functional verbs, as the clitics behave differently with these verbs contrary to lexical verbs. This study also shows that there can be a direct interface between syntax and phonology regarding the representation of clitic pronouns.



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