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Title: The syntax and acquisition of pronominal clitics : a crosslinguistic study with special reference to Modern Greek
Author: Tsakali, Paraskevi Vina
ISNI:       0000 0001 3536 9746
Awarding Body: UCL (University College London)
Current Institution: University College London (University of London)
Date of Award: 2006
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This thesis is concerned with the syntax and acquisition of clitic constructions. The empirical focus is on Clitic Doubling constructions and on the emergence of clitics in the child grammar. The aim in this thesis is therefore twofold: first, to explain why certain languages allow Clitic Doubling and others do not, and second, to explain why the LI acquisition of certain clitic-languages, but not others, is characterised by a so-called clitic omission stage. The claim to be defended is that the presence of participial agreement in a language determines the availability of Clitic Doubling: Participle Agreement excludes Clitic Doubling. Moreover the presence of participial agreement results in omission of the clitics in LI grammars. The analysis relies crucially on the checking relations of phi-features that hold in clitic-languages. I argue that the presence of participle agreement in clitic-languages induces split-checking, which forces associates of the clitic to be null (pro). When no split-checking is required, a language may optionally be a clitic-doubling language. The theory that emerges allows us to account for the clitic omission stage: LI learners undergo a stage (up to the age of 3) in which they are unable to establish split-checking relations between an XP and the functional heads involved. As a result, in languages in which such operations are required, clitic omission will arise.
Supervisor: Not available Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available