A parametric account of V-governed arbitrary null arguments

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This paper seeks to establish a formal typology of so-called arbitrary null object languages. Evidence drawn from various languages of that type including French, KiNande, and Tamil is presented which suggests that V-governed arbitrary null elements are instances of A'-bound pro. It is argued that pro being a Caseless empty category, the presence of arbitrary null objects in a language simply follows from the optionality of ACC Case assignment in that language. Further, this parameter is shown not to be a primitive of the grammar, but to be a direct consequence of Pollock's (1989) strong vs. weak AGR parameter, a parameter responsible for the presence vs. absence of a certain type of V-movement across languages.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)345-374
Number of pages30
JournalNatural Language and Linguistic Theory
Issue number3
StatePublished - Aug 1992

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Language and Linguistics
  • Linguistics and Language


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