Habeas corpus. Sei genealogie del corpo occidentale by Federico Leoni

By Federico Leoni

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2sg ‘This one that you see’ (VeV 44) It seems to be the case that the licensing of null subjects differs according to several factors, not only clause type. The person of the subject is definitely a relevant factor, at least in some clause types: for instance, main interrogative clauses, a context where the verb clearly raises to C, very often display a second person singular pronoun: (16) a. ’ credenze . . beliefs (VeV 35) b. E sai tu quanti sono i comandamenti . . ’ (VeV 36) c. inf the nostre comandamenta?

The difference between Modern and Old Italian is thus that in OI it is possible to license a null topic in the left periphery of the clause containing the pro subject, while in Modern Italian the Topic has to be phonetically realized. According to Benincà, null topics are licensed by movement of the verb to the relevant Topic position, a movement which is clearly not possible in Modern Italian. Further cases of this type are given below, where the verb appears in first position and licenses a null subject that is interpreted as coreferent with a DP occurring in the previous context that is not the Topic of the previous clause: (30) a.

Fue sì giusto e guardò sì le mani da . . 3sg so the hands that ‘he was so right, and looked down at his hands so that . . ’ b. cominciò a tremare sì fortemente . . 3sg to tremble so strongly ‘He began to tremble so strongly that . . ’ (47) (FSI 110) (VN 8) a. the horse thing so marvelous ‘When I told you such an incredible thing about the horse’ (Nov. II, 129) b. 1sg to him of so rich teaching ‘I gave him such a poor reward for such precious advice’ (Nov. 3sg so ‘Then the stoneworker cheered up, took a stone in his hand and said .

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