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A CROSS-LINGUISTIC APPROACH TO THE

PRO-DROP PARAMETER
by
Gary Martin Gilligan

A Dissertation Presented to the


FACULTY OF THE GRADUATE SCHOOL
UNIVERSITY OF SOUTHERN CALIFORNIA
In Partial Fulfillment of the
Requirements for the Degree
DOCTOR OF PHILOSOPHY
(Linguistics)

December 1987

UMI Number: DP71322

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UNIVERSITY OF SOUTHERN CALIFORNIA


THE GRADUATE SCHOOL
UNIVERSITY PARK
LOS ANGELES, CALIFORNIA 90089

This dissertation, w ritten by


GARY MARTIN GILLIGAN

under the direction of

.. Dissertation

Committee, and approved by all its members,


has been presented to and accepted by The
G raduate School, in partial fu lfillm e n t of re
quirements fo r the degree of
D O C T O R O F P H IL O S O P H Y

Dean of Graduate Studies

D ate

December

1987

DISSERTATION COMMITTEE

co-chairman

co-chairman

jB?.

..

ACKNOWLEDGMENTS
I am pleased to boast of the friends and colleagues

|
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who have made my tenure at USC a richly rewarding


experience.
My committee has stimulated my intellectual growth

i
by alternating between conflict and reassurance, always in |
I
order to extract my best effort.
Foremost among the
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combatants I must thank Osvaldo Jaeggli, who I may yet
j
please.

Without his vigilance, I might have blundered in

every sentence; certainly, the final two chapters of this


dissertation would have been completely senseless without

his cautions.

I owe a massive intellectual and personal debt to


Jack Hawkins and Bernard Comrie, both of whom kept me
believing that at least part of my brain was still working.

It has been a pleasure to be associated with these

gentlemen.
I
My gratitude extends also to Mario Saltarelli and

Joseph Aoun, who also also served on my committee and


provided me with invaluable advice.
Many others merit mention, especially the following
individuals who have shared their expertise on languages

that I was not born into: Werner Antersijn, Marc Authier,


i
Josef Bayer, Doug Biber, Virginia Carey, Loredona
Clementi, Jaime Daza, Matthew Dryer, Mtirvet Enp Ursula
Feola, Ger deHaan, Hajime Hoji, Rupert Hopsel, Marja-leena1

Jokinen, Nanna Kristinsddttir, Rick Lacy, Audrey Li,


Helene Makinen, Erkki Merlainen, Franz Mtiller-Gotama,
Jacob Nyamsangya, Charles Randriamasimanana, Suchitra
i
Sadanandan, Raija Vairis.
These are the people who make
cross-linguistic work possible.

I thank also the community of friends at USC who

bought me beers and listened to my ranting.

Where would I

be without Mary Alvin, Heather Bowe, Juan Galindo, Chris


Hall, Kyle (the most thanked man in linguistics) Johnson,
M.A. Mohammad, Ian Roberts, Shelley Smith, and Bonnie
Schwartz?
Elaine Andersen, my benefactress, deserves more than
shell probably ever end up getting, but she knows that.
My wife Heather deserves the lions share of my
gratitude, however, for supporting a raving madman. Outi
side of Tukku and Cinder, she must have heard more of this
(dissertation than anyone.

I m sure shell forgive me if I

get a job.
Kudos also go to my parents, who taught me to dream.

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iii

TABLE OF CONTENTS

PAGE
LIST OF TABLES

ABBREVIATIONS AND CONVENTIONS

xi

ABSTRACT

xiii

1.0 Topic and m e t h o d s ...............................

vl.l The problem and its possible solutions . . . . . .

j
!

1.1.1 Pronominally interpreted missing arguments .

1.1.2 Evidence for syntactically represented null


pronouns ...................................

1.2 A brief description of the GB

f r a m e w o r k ........

1.2.1 Levels of deriva t i o n ......................... 10


1.2.2 D-structure modules

.......................

11

1.2.3 The interface between levels ...............

15

1.2.4 S-structure/LF modules .....................

19

1.2.5 From UG to core g r a m m a r ..................... 25


1.3 A consideration of typological syntax

..........

31

1.3.1 Typology and s y n t a x ......................... 32


1.3.2 Typological m e t h o d s ................
1.3.3 Typology and GB

35

................... 40

1.3.4 Deep t y p o l o g y ................................43


'1.4 The interaction of typology and GB theory
|
;

....

1.4.1 Typology as confirmation: word order


parameters and word ordertypes
............

45
46

1.4.2 Typology as a constraint upon abstract


analysis: universals of the comparative
phrase and Dutch VP o r d e r ................... 55
1.5 S u m m a r y ............................................ 67

2.0 Two views of Pro-drop par a m e t e r s ................... 72


2.1 Generative analyses of the Pro-drop Parameter

. .

74

2.1.1 Null subjects and correlated phenomena . . .

74

2.1.2 Correlating the phenomena

78

.................

2.1.3 Less direct correlations..................... 86


2.1.4 S u m m a r y .............................

94

2.2 Preparations for the s u r v e y ....................... 96


2.2.1 The data base e x p a n d e d ....................... 96
2.2.2 The constructions d e f i n e d .................. 104
|

2.2.2.1 Null thematic subjects ............

105

2.2.2.2 Null nonthematic subjects

113

........

2.2.2.3 Subject inversion constructions

. . 120

2.2.2.4 that-trace filter violations . . . .


2.2.2.5 Summary

125

.................. 127

2.3 Outcome of the s u r v e y ..........

129

2.3.1 The raw r e s u l t s .............................130


2.3.2 D i s c u s s i o n ................................... 135
2.3.2.1 Null thematic and nonthematic
s u b j e c t s .............................136
2.3.2.2 The EXE-SI correlation and
I c e l a n d i c .......................... 137
2.3.2.3 Subject inversion and that-t filter
v i o l a t i o n s .......................... 140
2.3.2.4 EXE and T H A T ........................ 142
2.3.2.5 Other correlations ................. 144
2.3.2.6 Summary
I

...........................

2.3.3 Comparison with other samples

146

............

147

2.3.3.1 Testing my results ................

149

2.3.3.2 Counterexamples and the three


s a m p l e s ............................ 153
!

2.3.4 Conclusions

...............................

155

i
i

3.0 A wider perspective: null p r o n o u n s ................ 160


i
i

3.1 The agreement hypothesis in previous work

....

163

3.2 Redefining the survey phenomena... ...............

172

3.2.1 Null p r o n o u n s ...............................173


3.2.1.1 The role of the Projection
Principle(s) .......................

173

3.2.1.2 Possible sites for null pronouns


and the adequacy of the PP and EPP
as t e s t s ............................ 175
3.2.1.3 Interpretation andnull arguments

. 179

3.2.1.4 Testing the limits of null


p r o n o u n s ......................
3.2.2 Agreement (reprise)

183

.......................

185

3.2.3 S u m m a r y ..................................... 186


3.3 Results of survey I I .............................. 187
3.4 D i s c u s s i o n ......................................... 195
3.4.1 Site by site examination of the types

. . . 196

3.4.1.1 Thematic subjects of finite


c l a u s e s ............................ 196
3.4.1.2 Subjects of nonfinite sentences

i
j

3.4.1.3 Imperative subjects


3.4.1.4 Nonthematic arguments

. . 197

..............
........

200

. . 201

/3.4.1.5 Direct o b j e c t s ...................... 203


/3.4.1.6 Indirect objects ................... 205
i
3.4.1.7 Possessive pronouns

..............

206

3.4.1.8 Adpositional objects ..............

208

vi

3.4.1.9 Summary

...........................

209

3.4.2 New types in an IndoEuropean biased sample . 210


3.5 Comparison of types with predictions of theories . 217
3.5.1 Analysis by analysis comparison

.........

218

3.5.1.1 Taraldsens generalization ........

218

3.5.1.2 Huangs generalization ............

219

3.5.1.3 Pesetsky and Rizzi on richness of


inflection ........................ 221
3.5.2 Ramifications for the remainder of the
t h e s i s ....................................... 223
4.0 Identification and null p r o n o u n s .................. 227
4.1 Identification by agreement

.....................

228

4.1.1 The features of identification.............. 229


4.1.2 Structural conditions

.....................

4.1.3 Association of target and agreement

. .. .

234
239

4.1.4 S u m m a r y ..................................... 240


4.2 Definite null pronouns without agreement-

identification .........................

. . . . .

4.2.1 Pronominally interpreted gaps inMandarin

242

. 242

4.2.1.1 The distribution of nullpronouns


in M a n d a r i n ........................ 243
4.2.1.2 Topics as identifiers of null
p r o n o u n s .............................253
4.2.2 Null pronominal objects in agreementless
l a n g u a g e s ................................... 261
t

4.3 PRO and identification by p r e d i c a t i o n ............ 267


4.3.1 Previous approaches to P R O .................. 269
4.3.2 The identification of arbitrary null
s u b j e c t s ..................................... 271

vii

4.3.3 Obligatory control .........................

279

....................

289

...................................

299

4.3.4 Nonobligatory control


j

4.3.5 Summary

^.4 Other null arbitrary pronouns and nullpronouns

identified by predication

.......................

301

4.4.1 Arbitrary null objectsin I t a l i a n ........... 301


4.4.2 Null pronouns inside N P .................... 312
4.4.3 Orphan Prepositions and other arbitrary
a g r e e m e n t ................................... 323
4.4.4 Null subjects of imperative sentences

. . . 329

4.4.5 Null heads of relative c l a u s e s ..............334


4.5 Null indefinite p r o n o u n s .......................... 338
4.5.1 'Arbitrary' plural pronouns

inSpanish . . . 339

4.5.2 Null third person pronouns in Finnish and


H e b r e w ....................................... 344
4.6 Identification and visibility

................... 353

5.0 Licensing and null p r o n o u n s ...................... 357


5.1 Principles of l i c e n s i n g .......................... 363
i
j
5.1.1 Licensing of E C s ............................ 364
5.1.2 Case theory r e v i s i t e d ...................... 370
5.1.3 Licensing and v i s i b i l i t y ..................

374

5.1.4 Positions for Caseless pronouns

..........

378

5.2 Subject pronouns .................................

387

i
j

5.2.1 The cross-linguistically defined types . .

. 387

5.2.2 Subject parameters and analysis of the


types
. . . . . . . . . .
..............

398

5.2.2.1 Core N S L s .......................... 399

viii

5.2.2.2 Core nonNSLs and the parameter


ization of the thematic subject
p o s i t i o n .............................401
5.2.2.3 An introduction to restricted NSLs
and E X E - N S L s ........................ 403
5.2.2.4 Parameters of nominative Case
a ssignment .......................... 407
5.2.2.5 Restricted NSLs and EXE-NSLs II

. . 410

5.2.2.6 Dutch: a fifth t y p e ................ 414


5.2.3
5.3 Other

Summary of the theory of subject licensing . 417


constraints on the a n a l y s i s ................419

5.3.1

Other pronoun sites

......................

419

5.3.2

The diachronic perspective ................

429

5.4 Comparisons with other analyses


5.5 Final

................. 436

remarks on licensing ......................

6.0 Concluding r e m a r k s ..............

451
455

BIBLIOGRAPHY .......................................... 458

ix

LIST OF TABLES
chart 1:

Survey of verb, adposition and


comparative phrase orders .................

59

Cross-linguistic range of generative


Pro-drop analyses .........................

91

chart 2a: Genetic and bibliographci listing of


languages under generative analysis . . . .

92

chart 2:

chart 3:
chart 4:
chart 5:

Statistical frequency of each language


f a m i l y ...................................

98

Genetic and bibliographic listing of


surveyed languages .......................

102

Survey of null subject phenomena


c o r r e l a t i o n s ............

131

chart 6: The van der Auwera s a m p l e .................... 149


chart 7: The null argument position-agreement
s u r v e y ...................................... 189
chart 8: Agreement and null pronouns for chart 2
l a n g u a g e s.................................... 211
chart 9: Thematic and nonthematic subjects .........

389

ABBREVIATIONS AND CONVENTIONS


The following abbreviations are used in interlinear

i glosses:
ABL
ABS
ACC
AOR
ASP
AUX
CL
CLAS
CMPR
COND
CONJ
CTR
DAT
DEM
DO
EMP
ERG
FUT
GEN
IMP
INST
10
NEG
NML
NOM
NPST
PART
PL
POSS
PRES
PRET
PRF
PROG
PST
PTCL
PUNC
0
Qprt
REFL
SG
TOP
TRAN
TRNS

ablative
absolutive
accusative
aorist
aspect
auxiliary
clitic
class, classifier
comparative
conditional
conjunction
contrastive
dative
demonstrative
direct object
emphatic
ergative
future
genitive
imperative
instrumental
indirect object
negative
nominalizer
nominative
nonpast
partitive
plural
possessive
present
preterit
perfective
progressive
past
participial
punctual
quantifer
question particle
reflexive
singular
topic
transitive
translative

Abbreviations for pronouns are as follows:


1,2,3 person
s,p
singular, plural

j Other abbreviations:
j

j
1
i

A
AGR
CP
CPLT
e
EC
INFL
IP
NP
NSL
0
0+A
0-A
*0+A
*0-A
OP
POST
PP
PREP
PRO
SPEC
Std
VP

adjective
agreement
CPLT phrase, aka S
complement
trace of movement
empty category
inflection node
INFL phrase, aka S
noun phrase
null subject language
pronominally interpreted EC
null pronoun with agreement
null pronoun without agreement
obligatorily lexical pronoun with agreement
obligatorily lexical pronoun without agreement
null operator
postposition
adpositional phrase
preposition
the null subject of nonfinite sentences
specifier
standard of comparison
verb phrase

Conventions include:
*
(X)
*(X)
(*X)
/
+

i
i

ungrammatical utterance
X is optional
ungrammatical when X does not appear
ungrammatical when X does appear
morpheme boundary
fused morpheme, e.g., NOM/PL is a single
morpheme designating both nominative Case and
plural
clitic boundary
separates two abbreviations, e.g., DO.CL is a
direct object clitic

xii

ABSTRACT

Though there have been many analyses of null pronouns j


in the past decade, few have been constrained by more than j
the facts of a single language.

As a result, there are

j nearly as many theories of null pronouns, or 'pro-drop,


as there are languages under investigation.
A major goal of this work is to bring crossi
: linguistic types to bear on the analysis of null subjects,
j It is possible to simply test the success of languageI

specific hypotheses against a cross-linguistic sample,

I
I

e.g., in this way it is easily demonstrated that Pro-drop

Parameter (which correlates null subjects, subject


inversion, and free extraction of subordinate subjects),
is misguided.

But more to the point, I presume that a


I

preliminary cross-linguistic sampling of null pronoun


phenomena most adequately constrains the analysis.
A cross-linguistic examination of Taraldsen's

i
i

generalization, which claims an intuitively satisfying

one-to-one relationship between agreement morphology and

null pronouns, reveals a significant number of

counterexamples.

Following the distinction in Rizzi

(1986), where it is argued that all empty categories must

j
i

satisfy two requirements, it is presumed that some of

these counterexamples are failures of identification and

;
i

the others are failures of licensing.

j
i

I
xiii 1

The relationship between agreement morphology and its


associated null pronoun is taken as the core of the theory
of identification; by parallel with this relationship, it
is assumed that all null pronouns must be governed by
their identifier.

This constraint is then applied to the

analysis of other null pronouns, e.g., null subjects in


agreementless languages like Mandarin, PRO (the null
subject of nonfinite clauses), the arbitrary null objects
mentioned by Rizzi (1986), and a wide range of arbitrary
and indefinite null pronouns.
The three remaining counterexamples--languages with
agreement but no null pronouns, e.g., Icelandic, the
lexicalization of nonthematic subjects, e.g., English
there, and the lack of a lexical alternate to PRO--are
taken as the core phenomena constraining the analysis of
licensing.

I motivate two principles (Case causes

lexicalization (Bouchard 1984) and an expanded definition


of argument position) and two parameters of Caseassignment, and demonstrate that their interaction alone
adequately addresses the posed problems.

1. 0

Topic and methods


The primary concern of this work is a more adequate

analysis of the principles responsible for pronominal


arguments being lexical or null.

This is not a new pur

suit, there being a decade of research into this topic,


also known as the Pro-Drop Parameter, within transforma
tional generative grammar, especially its most recent
incarnation, Government-Binding (GB) theory.

But the

present work is as much motivated by a cross-linguistic


typology of lexical and null pronominal arguments as it is
by these previous generative analyses, and in this respect
it represents a major deviation from the perspective pre
viously brought to bear on this issue.

The success of

this methodology and its ramifications for further inquiry


into parametric differences between languages is thus the
secondary goal of this work.
In this chapter I present the topic of investigation
and the methods which are used in that investigation.
This involves four main sections: first, a general intro
duction to null pronouns and the demonstration that some
aspect of their analysis is necessarily syntactic in
nature; next, a presentation of the GB conception of
Universal Grammar (UG) and the parameters responsible for
the major differences among languages, since this is the
general model assumed; third, a review of typological
methods and goals, which are introduced in order to
achieve a cross-linguistic perspective; and finally, as a
1

prelude to the interaction of GB theory and typology in


this dissertation, two demonstrations of the useful
interaction of formal generative theory and typology.
1.1

The problem and its possible solutions


In this section, I review the basic data which define

the study of pronominal arguments and argue that the


mechanisms which allow these arguments to be lexical or
null are syntactic.

I then briefly discuss the methods

which have been employed in the analysis of these null


pronouns, concluding that a greater appreciation of the
distribution of null pronouns, both cross-linguistic and
within individual languages, is an excellent complement,
if not a precondition, to any study of the parameter
underlying the option of null pronouns.
1.1.1

Pronominally interpreted missing arguments


For the speaker of English, or the linguist studying

only English, my topic is only partly meaningful, since


pronominal arguments in English tensed sentences are
always lexical.
(1) a.

I put it on the table

b. *0 put it on the table


c. *1 put 0 on the table
In the vast majority of the world's languages (cf. chart 5
in chapter two), however, pronominal arguments of these
sentences are optionally lexical, i.e., they may be phonologically null.

In Basque, for instance, any or all of


2

the major grammatical relations--subject, direct and


indirect object--may be null (Saltarelli et al 1983:486).
(2) a.

b.

zu-k
a-ri
libruru-a irakurri d-io-zu
you-ERG her-DAT book-ACC read
3sDO-3sIO-2sS
'you have read the book to her'
0 0 0 irakurri diozu
'you have read it to her'

Not all of these 'pro(noun)-drop' languages have the same


range of null pronouns as Basque, nor do they all exhibit
agreement morphology, as shown by the following Mandarin
example from Huang (1984:542).
(3)

This

(neige ren ) Zhangsan shuo Lisi bu renshi 0


i
i
that man
Zhangsan say
Lisi NEG know
'(that man), Zhangsan said that Lisi did not
know him'
contrast between Enlgish, on the one hand, andBasque

and Mandarin, on the other, is at the

core of most

analyses of null pronoun phenomena.


However, it is not the case that English lacks null
pronominals altogether.

Subjects of infinitives and

imperatives, for instance, are generally null.


(4) a.
b.

I want 0 to be free
i
i
0 bring me a beer!

One goal of this work is to pursue the possibility that


the gaps in (2) through (4) are of the same sort.
More generally, this investigation aims to answer two
basic questions concerning all null pronouns: what is
responsible for the distribution of null pronouns; and
what is responsible for their interpretation?

1.1.2

Evidence for syntactically represented null


pronouns
Linguists have proposed basically two types of

answers to the questions above, one which accents the role


of discourse in language and a second which posits an
independent syntactic component or grammar.

The choice,

as always, is an empirical matter.


The two approaches to language more or less agree
upon what is responsible for the interpretations of the
missing arguments.

In the Basque example, it is clear

that the content of the missing pronouns is recoverable


from the information carried by the clitic complex.

As

for the Mandarin case, both generativists like Huang and


discourse-oriented analysts like Li & Thompson (1981) have
proposed that this language's syntax interacts closely
with discourse topics, such that null pronouns are identi
fied by topics made salient either through previous men
tion in the discourse or some sort of prominence in the
immediate context*
The two approaches diverge widely when it comes to
accounting for the distribution of null pronouns.

A dis

course-based analysis simply characterizes the fact that


the lexical variety is used for purposes of emphasis, and
only discourse-based analyses have characterized the dis
tribution of null pronouns within discourse, but this
perspective predicts little about the syntactic

distribution of these items, both within particular lan


guages and cross-linguistically.
Hinds (1978) suggests that the missing pronouns are
the result of some rule of ellipsis, akin to the deletions
which occur commonly in English conversation (Thrasher
1974).
(5) a.

(I've) gotta go now

b.

(have you) been in Ann Arbor long?

c.

(it's a) good thing we didn't run into anyone


we know

However, ellipsis in English is apparently limited to


sentence-initial strings, occurs only in informal regis
ters, and only affects certain classes of words.

Hinds'

explanations for the fact that none of these constraints


operate in Japanese are implausible, e.g., the claim that
Japanese are more empathic than other people, or that the
left hemispheres of the brains of monolingual speakers of
Japanese receive a wider range of sounds.

Furthermore,

this analysis does not explain why objects of PPs in


agreementless languages like Japanese are never null.
To account for the Mandarin-English difference, a
discourse analysis might also demonstrate some significant
difference in the discourse structures of these two types
of language.

In a limited way this has been done.

Li &

Thompson, among others, term Chinese a topic-prominent


language, though the term is only a cover for the range of
phenomena associated with Chinese as opposed to English.

As to what is at the root of the topic-prominence, there


is little known.
An explanation for the distribution of missing pronominals, and a defensible explanation at that, is avail
able in a syntactic theory.

Huang (1984), for instance,

has suggested that the difference between Mandarin and


English may not only be a difference in discourse struc
ture but also in syntax, such that only Mandarin-type
languages have null topics.

Further, he partly accounts

for the distribution of pronominally interpreted gaps in


Mandarin by the same general prohibitions which hold of
variables, and so is able to explain why PP objects are
never null in these languages.
It is an additional fact in favor of the syntactic
analysis that the distribution of missing pronominal argu
ments is sensitive to various phenomena which have only
been explained by a theory of syntax.

For instance, it is

a fact that null but not lexical pronouns may be bound by


quantifiers in Mandarin (Aoun 1986:21).
(6) a.

b.

meiren shuo 0 yao


i
i
nobody say
would
nobody said he would

lai
come
come

*meiren shuo ta yao lai


i
i
nobody said he would come

Similar behavior is exhibited by the languages with both


agreement and missing pronominals, as Montalbetti (1984)
has noted in Spanish.

(7) a.

muchos estudiantes

piensan que 0
i

son
i

many
students
think
that
are
inteligentes
intelligent
many students think that they are intelligent'
b. *muchos estudiantes

piensan que ellos


i

son
i

inteligentes
'many students think that they are intelligent'
A discourse-based account intuitively captures neither the
behavior in these two types of languages nor the similar
ity between the two.
Even the discourse analysis claim that lexicaliza
tion, where there is a null alternative, implies emphasis
turns out to be false.

In Old French, a lexical subject

is obligatorily emphasized when preverbal, but a lexical


postverbal subject need not be (Kibler 1984:79,77).
(8) a.

b.

ele avoit passe set


anz
she has
passed seven years
'she is over seven years old'
icele nuit par
tens leva(il)
that night early got up
he
'he/he got up early that night'

Given the general inadequacies of the discourse-based


form of analysis, the solution which I investigate is
therefore a syntactically based one.

This decision hardly

determines the correct analysis of null pronouns, for


there are many possible analyses within syntactic theory.
Here, the major issue to be resolved is whether the miss
ing pronominal arguments are structurally represented.

Much evidence can be massed to show that null


pronouns have syntactic reality: they may conjoin with a
lexical argument in some languages, e.g., in Irish
(McCloskey & Hale 1984), Swahili (exemplified in (9)) and
Arabic; they enter into control and binding relations just
as do lexical arguments (cf. the Spanish examples (10) and
(11)); furthermore, as all the examples below demonstrate,
null pronouns and lexical arguments both occasion
agreement.
(9)

mvulana a-li-ni-piga
(mimi) na msichana
boy
3sSU-PST-lsOB-hit me
and girl
'the boy hit me and the girl'

(10)

(el ) quier-e
PRO venir
i
i
he
want-PRES/3s
come
'he wants to come'

(11)

(el ) se
compr-o
0 un helado
i
i
i
he
REFL buy-PRET/3s
a ice crea
'he bought himself an ice cream'

But this is not a complete demonstration that null pro


nouns exist as an empty node in the phrase structure
representation of a sentence; rather, it demonstrates only
that null pronouns are represented at the level at which
these relations hold.
This level varies from framework to framework.

In

lexico-syntactic theories like Lexical Functional Grammar


(Bresnan 1982) these relations are stated at a lexicosemantic level and so no empty node is required in phrasal
structure.

Thus, Hale (1983) analyzes null anaphora in

Warlpiri without recourse to syntactically represented


null arguments.
In the Government-Binding framework (cf. Chomsky 1981
et al), all syntactic relations are expressed through
structural representation, and so all analyses of null
pronouns posit an empty category.

This is the framework

which I adopt, for the following reasons.

On a general

level of argumentation, the GB model is more constrained


than the LFG alternative because GB expresses all the
syntactic phenomena, i.e., word order and syntactic rela
tions like control, with one structural representation
whereas LFG utilizes two.
structural
is

very

representation,

Further, given only the single


the study of empty categories

central to the concerns of

this

theory.

accounts

for the fact that most of the analyses

pronouns

are within GB theory,

heightened
reflect

sense

greater

of

This
null

and it suggests that this

of empty categories is more


attention to the

principles

likely

to

underlying

null pronouns.
I turn now to a general consideration of the GB
framework.
1.2

A brief description of the GB framework


In this section I introduce the basic machinery of GB

theory and the ways in which analysts working in this


framework have addressed the issue of cross-linguistic
differences.

1.2.1

Levels of derivation
A basic tenet of every version of transformational

generative grammar is the use of levels of derivation, or


some other mechanism, e.g., chains of coindexed sites,
which capture the dependency between logical relations and
surface ordering.

For instance, coindexing the subject of

a passive sentence with the empty object of that verb


captures the fact that the subject of a passive sentence
corresponds to the object of an active sentence.

A deri

vational history simplifies the lexicon enormously since


it allows the lexical requirements of a transitive verb to
be stated only once, for its logical object.

This insight

represents the core idea of transformational generative


grammar.
The level-ordered grammar of GB theory includes those
levels included in the Y-shaped grammar below.
(12)

d-structure
s-structure
PF

LF

D-structure projects basic structure and features of the


lexicon through the modules of X-bar theory and Theta
theory.

It is related to s-structure through the general

ized transformational rule, move OC, the operation which


relates, among other things, surface subjects of passive
clauses to the logical objects of active verbs.

10

Representations at s-structure are in turn constrained

by

the modules of Government theory and Binding theory.


Two levels follow s-structure: a phonological compo
nent (PF), and a level of syntactically derived interpre
tation (LF).

The former is minimally the result of cer

tain phonological rules operating upon s-structure, and


has as its output the surface form of the sentence.

LF is

derived from s-structure much as s-structure is related to


d-structure, through the operation of move

, and is

understood to yield a structural representation of syntac


tically-based interpretation, e.g., quantifier scope
readings, and sentences with multiple interrogation.

The

same constraints holding of s-structure generally hold at


LF as well.
Each of the modules has a core notion which, espe
cially in the case of government, is utilized in the
expression of one or more principles.

The statement and

form of these principles is a matter of great research


because each principle applies generally rather than to a
particular construction, and therefore a small change in
the statement of a single principle may have far-ranging
effects.
1.2.2

D-structure modules
X-bar theory minimally is responsible for the build

ing of structure.

The basic principle of X-bar theory is

that items in the lexicon serve as the core, or head, of

11

maximal projections (phrases) which reflect the category


of their head.

That is, the verb hit projects a verb

phrase, the noun tree projects a noun phrase, etc.

The

maximal projection projected by a head includes a speci


fier (SPEC) which is an immediate daughter of the maximal
projection and a complement (CPLTj node as a sister of the
head.
(13)

^ ^ X P ^
SPEC

X
head

CPLT
X

Following Chomsky (1986), I assume that the X-bar


schema extends not only to the lexical categories N, A, V,
and P but to the nonlexical categories C (complementizer,
e.g., that) and INFL as well.

This extension makes it it

possible to integrate S (=CP) and S (=IP) into the


general structure in (13).

Previously, S and S had a

mixed and confusing status, it being unclear whether both


were maximal projections, or whether it was necessary to
stipulate their expansions separately from other cate
gories, as in (14) and (15).
(14)

S' --> COMP S

(15)

--> NP INFL VP

With C and INFL heads of CP and IP, respectively, the


comparison with (13) becomes obvious.

12

(16)

^CP

SPEC

Nsx IP
NP

INFL

VP

Note, however, that this change suggests two positions


outside the sentence, the specifier of CP and the head of
CP, whereas previously there was but one such base
generated position, COMP.

Still, in previous work

(Chomsky 1977, 1980), it was apparent that an extra posi


tion, one created by adjunction to COMP, was required, so
that the base-generation of this new position is not so
new after all.
The second module which operates at d-structure is
Theta theory, which syntactically implements the lexical
properties of heads.

Assume that the verb put subcate-

gorizes for an NP direct object and a PP locative


argument: this is captured in its lexical entry.

When put

is inserted into an X-bar produced structure, it projects


two theta roles corresponding to those subcategorized
elements.
A lexical head directly theta-marks it complements
under government (defined below).

Theta-marking of the

subject is not direct in most versions of GB theory,


however, for the subject is not governed by a thetaassigning head.

Of the many proposals concerning the

assignment of the subject theta-role, I assume the


13

predication

analysis

of Williams

(19800,

which

accom

plishes this assignment via an index shared by the subject


and its predicate.

The predication relation is more fully

discussed in the next section,

as well as in section 4.3.

The theta criterion forces the requirements of the


lexicon to be projected into the syntax.

An early

formulation of the theta criterion (from Chomsky 1981)


relates theta roles to arguments.
(17) a.
b.

each argument is assigned one and only one


theta role
each theta role is assigned to one and only one
argument

An argument is in a one-to-one relation with a theta-role,


an argument being some element with referential content.
Some theta-roles are assigned to a position, e.g., put
assigns its theta roles to its complements.

Positions

which may be theta-marked are termed A-positions; all


other structural positions are A '-positions.
Not all theta-roles are obviously assigned to a posi
tion, e.g., the implicit agent of a passive sentence.
(18)

theshipwas sunk on purpose

Implicit agents demonstrably do not occur in A-positions,


for they neither control the subject of an infinitive or
reflexives.

Still, the agent is present in some sense,

since the agent-oriented adverbial phrase, on purpose,


requires an agent.

Note the familiar contrast with an

agentless middle, which does not allow the same adverbial.


(19)

*the ship sank on purpose


14

I return to the matter of implicit agents in later


chapters, to underline the differences separating them
from structurally represented null pronouns.
1.2.3

The interface between levels


The preceding section descibes how lexical properties

of heads are introduced at d-structure; an additional


statement, the projection principle (PP), guarantees the
integrity of these requirements throughout a syntactic
derivation.
(20)

lexical structure must be represented


categorically at every syntactic level

At d-structure the PP is satisfied if theta and X-bar


theories have applied properly, since these modules imple
ment lexical requirements directly.

At subsequent levels,

the PP constrains the ways in which the d-structure string


may be altered.

For instance, it forces a moved consti

tuent, e.g., the subject of a passive sentence, to be


related to its d-structure position through the presence
of a trace.
I have previously mentioned the transformational
rule, move <X , in regards to the role it plays in the
derivation of passive sentences.

More generally, it is

possible to characterize move OC in terms of the nine


logically possible types of movement, given the X-bar
schema adopted above: specifier-to-complement, specifierto-head, specifier-to-specifier, head-to-complement, etc.
However, all movement to a complement position is
15

effectively
exists

ruled

out,

since

the

complement

only if it is assigned a theta role,

position

and movement

to a theta-marked position would place two theta-roles

in

a single argument position, a possibility ruled out by the


theta criterion,

(16).

Movement to head position is also restricted.


Since
o
a head is a simple category, of X level, movement of a
specifier or complement, i.e., an XP, to the head position
violates Emonds Structure Preserving Hypothesis.

Move

ment of a head to a nonhead position is likewise illicit.


Head-to-head movement, therefore, is the only possible
type of movement involving heads, and is presumably
involved in the INFL-to-C movement (subject-auxiliary
inversion) of English yes-no question formation and the Vto-INFL-to-C movement of verb-second languages, such as
Dutch and German (cf. the discussion in section 1.4).
Unlike the complement position, specifiers (in parti
cular the specifier of IP, i.e., the subject position) are
suitable landing sites.

Because it can be assigned a

theta-role, the subject position is an A-position;


furthermore, it is the only position which is obligatorily
generated, according to Chomskys extended projection
principle (EPP), which requires that all clauses have a
structural subject.

Thus, the object of a passive verb

may move to a nonthematic, subject position without


violating the theta criterion or creating structure.

16

A nonthematic subject position is not always filled


by movement, however.

In existential sentences and extra

position sentences, for example, the subject is nonthema


tic yet filled, at least in English, by a lexical element.
(21) a.
b.

there is a man in the garden


it is evident that we are late again

Note that the EPP predicts that these subjects are present
even in languages where there are no lexical counterparts
to there and it in (21).
Not to be overlooked is the adjunction type of move
ment.

Unlike the movements mentioned in the previous

paragraphs, adjunction does not place an element in a preestablished position.

Nevertheless, it is not exactly a

structure creating rule, either.

An adjoined element can

only be attached to a maximal projection, creating a


higher level of the same phrase, as in (22).
(2 2 )

XP ?
XP

adjunct

Constraints on this type of movement are discussed in more


detail throughout the text.
A second mechanism which mediates between levels is
that of free indexing.

Like movement, free indexing may

result in two (or more) elements sharing the same index.


To some extent, free indexing makes move oC redundant,
because both are relations in which an antecedent
c-commands (definition below) an element with which it
shares an index.

This mechanism is distinct from


17

movement, however, in as much as it applies to relations


between non-moved constituents, e.g., the reading of (23)
in which the quantifier binds the pronoun.
(23)

everyone

thinks that he
i

is intelligent
i

Furthermore, coindexed elements not related by movement


are not subject to the same constraints, e.g., bounding
theory (cf. below).
Besides relating the two NPS in (23), I assume that
the rule of indexing also operates to relate two other
sorts of elements.

The first of these pairs is captured

in the SPEC-HEAD convention,


(24)

(24).

coindex the specifier of XP with X

It is unclear what precisely motivates this stipulation,


though it is motivated by the fact that subjects, which
are presumed to be specifiers of IP, agree with INFL.
Free indexing also makes possible the index shared by
a subject and its predicate, i.e., the predication rela
tion (Williams 1980).

Williams argues that the predica

tion relation operates throughout the grammar, e.g., in


the analysis of PRO, the null subject of infinitives, and
in the analysis of small clauses, e.g., the sequence John
sick in (25).
(25)

I consider John sick

More generally, he suggests that the predication relation


defines the grammatical relation 'subject': an NP for
which there is an associated predicate.

18

But this is not the only definition of subject, or


even the most commonly assumed one.

As noted above,

Chomsky's proposal comes in the form of the extended


projection principle (EPP), which is generally interpreted
to mean that the node immediately dominated by every
clause, i.e.,

[NP,XP], is an obligatory subject position.

Thus, Stowell (1981) and others have argued that the


sequence John sick in (25) represents a single clausal
consituent.
There are difficulties with each proposal: the predi
cation analysis requires revision of the theta criterion
as stated above in (15), since John receives theta roles
from both consider and sick; the structural analysis
posits an entirely new clause type.

Furthermore, while

the goal of providing a unique definition of subject seems


conceptually appealing, at least in terms of simplicity,
it is not obvious that the goal is attainable or even
ultimately desirable.

I return to a discussion of these

two types of subjects in chapter five.


1.2.4

S-structure/LF modules
The two major modules constraining the output of move

and the rule of free indexing, and thus operating at sstructure and LF, are government theory and binding
theory.
Government theory plays a very large role in GB
theory.

A core notion of government can be defined, which

19

then is utilized in the statement of a large number of


principles.

This definition capitalizes upon the

intuition that a head governs everything inside its


maximal projection.
Case theory is a subcomponent of the government
theory module.

It consists of a series of statements

which relate Case-assigners and Case-assignees, (26), and


the Case filter, (27).
(26) a.

an NP

is nominative if governed by INFL

b.

an NP
verb

is accusative if governed by a transitive

c.

an NP

is oblique if governed by P

(27)

^lexical

[+AGR]

NP without Case

The status of the Case filter is a matter of some contro


versy, it being unclear whether it is a separate prin
ciple, or whether it can be derived from 'visibility',
e.g., in (28), as Aoun and others suggest.
(28)

X is visible at LF only if it is assigned Case

This matter receives significant attention in chapter


four.
The Case-assignment statements in (26) apply to exam
ples like (29) in a straightforward manner: Case is
assigned by the head eats to its complement bugs, accord
ing to the basic definition of government given above.

20

(29)

^IP^

NP

^ I ' v

INFL

Cal

^-VP.
SPEC
v"

V ?*

NP

PRES

eat

bugs

But the definition fails to describe the relation between


Case-assigner and assignee in sentences such as (30),
often referred to as Exceptional Case Marking (ECM)
contexts.
IP.

(30)
NP

I f.
INFL

VP.
V\

SPEC
V"

IP
SPEC

I .

INFL
I
believe him to

PRES

VP
I
be a fool

Since INFL of the lower clause is not [+AGR], as required


by

(26a), the subject him cannot receive nominative Case

inside IP; instead, him receives accusative Case from the


matrix verb believe.

This indicates that a specifier can

be governed from outside the minimal maximal projection


which contains it.
Therefore, the definition of government has been
altered to capture this extension.
(31)

^ g o v e r n s ft if and only if:


1) c* m-commands
, and
.
2) there is no ^ , a barrier for p , such
that ^ excludes

(32) a.

m-commands

if and only if:

1)
does not dominate fi , and
2) every maximal projection that dominates
P dominates oC
21

(32) b.

^ excludes ft if no segment of

dominates ^

c. o( is dominated by & only if if it dominated by


every segment of p
The definition of barrier varies from analysis to
analysis, though it is clear that not all maximal
projections are barriers.

Chomsky (1986) argues that no

XP is inherently a barrier; Manzini (1986) suggests that


all XPs are barriers unless the head of X lacks a certain
property.

The difference need not concern us here.

This definition of government underlies not only Case


theory, but the Empty Category Principle (ECP), which acts
as a filter upon the output of move
(33)

[e], a nonpronominal empty category, must be


properly governed

(34)

[e] is properly governed if and only if:


1) it is governed by a lexical category; and
2) it is coindexed with some antecedent

The relevant coindexing, of course, is that due to


movement.
Note that the ECP refers only to nonpronominal empty
categories, i.e., traces of movement (and perhaps the null
head of CP) but not the null pronominal arguments which
are the topic of this work.

This is simply demonstrated

by the observation that null pronouns may occur in NPs and


PPs, in languages which have the appropriate agreement,
but extraction from these positions is never licit,
regardless of agreement, as these examples from Finnish
indicate.

22

(35) a.

minfi n&in (sinu-n) auto-si


I
see
you-GEN car-2sP0SS
I saw your car1

b. *kennen minS n&in auto-nsa?


whose I
see car-3sP0SS
whose did I see car?1
A final principle in which government plays a
defining role is bounding theory.

Whereas the ECP applies

certain conditions of a local nature on traces of move


ment, bounding theory limits the domain separating a trace
and its antecedent.

Bounding theory captures, among other

constraints, the prohibition against extracting out of a


complex NP.
(36)

*who

did you hear the rumor that Mary likes e


i

Unlike the other principles of UG, it appears that bound


ing theory holds at s-structure but not LF.

As bounding

plays no role in this dissertation, I will not pursue any


further this possibility, nor Chomsky's (1986) suggestion
that bounding theory may be reduced to government theory.
The final module of GB theory is binding theory,
which regulates coindexing relations.

In particular, it

is composed of a series of well-formedness statements


which define the possible coindexings of three classes of
categories.
(37) a.

an anaphor must be bound in domain X

b.

a pronoun must be free in domain X

c.

an R-expression must be free

23

The definition of domain X is an ongoing problem in


GB theory.

In Chomsky (1981), it is defined as the mini

mal maximal projection containing the element and a sub


ject accessible to it; more recently, it is the minimal
maximal projection containing a Complete Functional
Complex (CFC).
Perhaps the most important claim of Binding theory is
the parallelism it allows between the antecedent-trace
relation created by movement, and the facts of obligatory
coreference.
(38)

the guitar

was played e by Ziggy


i
i
(39)
Ziggy loved himself
i
i
Both the trace in (38) and himself in (39) must be bound
by an antecedent.
ives, are anaphors.

Thus NP-traces, and not only reflex


WH-traces are like R-expressions, in

as much as they must be free of any A-position antecedent.


In early versions of GB theory, e.g., Chomsky (1981),
it was argued that a separate module of the grammar,
control theory, was responsible for the obligatory
coindexing between John and the subject of the infinitive
in (40).
(40)

John

tried PRO to remain calm


i
i
In the intervening years there have been numerous attempts
to reduce this phenomenon to binding theory, generally by
claiming that an obligatorily controlled PRO subject is an
anaphor.

This matter arises substantially again in

chapter four.
24

1.2.5

From UG to core grammar


In contrast to earlier versions of transformational

generative grammar, Government and Binding theory has


achieved a level of generality which allows not only
similarities but also differences between languages to be
elegantly formalized.

The similarities which hold for all

natural languages are stated as the principles of Univer


sal Grammar (UG); the differences, stated as principles of
possible variation, are known as parameters.

In these

terms, the major focus of this investigation is the proper


statement of the parameters underlying null pronouns.
The principles of UG described in the previous sec
tions only define those aspects of linguistic competence
which are uniformly accessed, or known, by all humans.
Parameters, on the other hand, explain systematic differ
ences among languages.

When all parameters are set, in

accordance with experience and the theory of markedness, a


core grammar of a language is defined.

These core gram

mars, it should be noted, are not equivalent to the actual


grammars in the minds of a particular languages speakers,
for a core grammar abstracts away from such peripheral
phenomena as borrowings, historical residue, and inven
tions (Chomsky 1981:8).
Recent generative literature abounds with references
to and conjectures about parameters.

These parameters,

like the principles of UG, are presumed to be rather


general in nature, such that setting a parameter in a
25

particular way is believed to affect a particular grammar


in more than a single construction.

Further, all of the

parameters proposed are abstract, a situation which


reflects the hypothesis that the parameters are themselves
somehow part of the prelinguistic state.

But there is

little agreement as to how the parameters are related to


UG.
In particular, there is apparent confusion as to the
scope of parameters.

Since the principles of UG are

understood to interact in order to generate strings, or


constructions, it is reasonable to assume that parameters
likewise interact with principles to effect certain con
structions.

And this is the general consensus.

Yet the

literature abounds with references to languages which have


a particular parametric setting, as if a language should
display all of the phenomena associated with a particular
setting or none of them.
Largely, this is the result of defining parameters by
a very restricted range of data.

For instance, by limit

ing the investigation of null pronouns to subjects of


tensed sentences, it has been possible to posit a Pro-drop
Parameter for which Basque is specified positively and
English negatively (cf. (1) and (2) at the beginning of
this chapter).

This narrow view of the data has two

unwelcome results.

First, it suggests that null subjects

of infinitives and imperatives, which are licit in both


Basque and English, are an entirely separate phenomena,
26

even though they are null pronouns just as intuitively as


are null subjects of tensed clauses.

Second, it creates

the illusion that the results which follow from a particu


lar parameter setting are all or nothing.
The power and form of parameters is also an unknown.
In the parameters suggested by Hale (1983) and Milsark
(1985a), a parameter is given the power to relax the
claims made for UG.

Hale states that in some free word

order languages, e.g., Warlpiri, UG constrains lexical


structure but not phrase structure.

Milsark suggests that

the Case filter is relevant only for certain languages.


Others view parameter-setting as the acquisition of a
subset of possible options.
meterization of WH-movement.

Such is Rizzi's (1982) para


Given the universal set

{CP,IP,NP}, Rizzi proposed that the bounding nodes in


English are IP and NP but CP and NP in Italian because it
is possible to extract out of certain configurations in
Italian which in English would be WH-island violations.
Similarly, Borer (1984) defines parameters in terms of a
class of inflectional rules, from which each language
chooses the subset which is compatible with the linguistic
input.
Currently, there are no limits on what form a para
meter might take.

This is to be expected since the study

of parameters is in its infancy and a priori constraints


are unmotivated.

However, it also indicates that the

study of parameters is by no means as advanced a pursuit


27

as the investigation of the principles of UG, where con


straints are well-articulated.

One commonly invoked con

straint on parameters is that they be stated in such a way


as to be compatible with the facts of language acquisi
tion.

Learnability, in particular the subset principle,

provides interesting predictions about default values,


i.e., that the acquired settings can only be a superset of
the initial settings, because negative evidence is not
relevant to acquisition.

But the learnability question is

insufficiently articulated to choose among competing


analyses, because more than a single version of a para
meter may satisfy this weak requirement.
The result is that the basic methodology employed in
the investigation of UG has been borrowed wholesale for
the study of parameters, i.e., study any language in depth
and generalize the analysis.

This is the rationale of the

generative approach to syntax, stated clearly in this


passage from Chomsky (1985:85).
the conclusion that the VP-configuration with the
asymmetry of subject-object relations that it
induces holds cross-linguistically is plausible, if
it is found in some languages
No one has motivated a parameter on the basis of a single
language.

Instead, it is generally the case that two

types of languages, one of which is almost always defined


by English, are scoured for systematic differences and the
analysis of these correlated phenomena is called a
parameter.

28

The results of this methodology are mixed.

The word

order parameters developed by Stowell, Koopman and others


(cf. section 1.4) enjoy a privileged place among para
meters.

They simplify UG and capture language-internal

generalizations so well that they are universally accepted


by GB syntacticians.

Other parameters, especially the

Pro-drop Parameter, have proven far more elusive, there


being at least as many theories of Pro-drop as the number
of languages examined for Pro-drop phenomena.
It might be the case that the proper statement of the
Pro-drop Parameter only requires additional in depth
investigation of a single language or a small number of
languages.

This method sufficed for word order parameters

and so it is not in principle incapable of discovering the


proper analysis.

Presumably, the investigator following

this method would continue to search for a more descrip


tively and explanatorily adequate analysis of Pro-drop in
Italian, for instance.

However, increased adequacy might

indicate that only the differences between English and


Italian, rather than some general parameter of language,
were better understood.

The quandry remains, then, as to

how the investigator is to know whether the phenomenon in


question actually constitutes a parameter.
There is no ready answer to this question in the
generative framework, the general ethic being that the
correct analysis will be the result of in depth investiga
tion of individual languages, however prolonged that
29

search might be.

Certainly, the GB theory of markedness,

the third innately specified component of the grammar


(along with UG and the parameters), is of no aid, for
though it is cavalierly assumed to operate in many
analyses (cf. especially the articles in Belletti, et al
1981), it is not sufficiently developed to choose between
analyses.

In perhaps the classic study of syntactic

markedness, van Riemsdijk (1978) claims that it should be


equivalent to an evaluation metric, but he is unable to
provide any such metric.
Though the terms 'marked and 'unmarked' are often
used in GB circles to refer to possible combinations of
parametric settings or to rate various constructions, the
core meaning actually depends entirely upon the predic
tions of one's analysis.

Thus, the marked option for the

subject of an infinitive is for it to be Case-marked,


e.g., in John believes her to be trustworthy, not because
there is independent evidence, but because the accepted
analysis of these constructions requires a stipulation
(CP-deletion) not required in the analysis of PRO subjects
of infinitives.
It may well be that a fully articulated theory of
markedness would alert the investigator as to when a set
of generalizations constitutes a parameter, but because
the GB notion of markedness presumes a fully articulated
theory of grammar, including a fully articulated theory of

30

parameters, it is of no possible use to the investigator


attempting to fully articulate those aspects of grammar.
So it appears that there is no other way for the GB
investigator of parameters to proceed, except to plod
through language after language, until each one is fully
understood and the differences can be completely appre
ciated.

But the situation is in fact hardly so bleak, as

many GB analysts have realized.

In the case of word order

parameters, there is independent evidence, i.e., crosslinguistic verification, that a parametric difference
among languages has been sorted out: the two parameters
predict four types of languages and only those four are
found.
As we shall see in chapter two, no such crosslinguistic evidence justifies any of the commonly assumed
versions of the Pro-drop Parameter.

Before this evidence

is presented, it is necessary to discuss in detail the


methods a test of cross-linguistic adequacy might utilize.

1.3

A consideration of typological syntax


The wider perspective which I argue to be necessary

for any study of cross-linguistic generalizations, i.e.,


parameters, can only be attained through the typological
study of languages.

In this section I introduce the

methods and goals at the core of most studies in typologi


cal syntax and reconcile the issues which make this
approach unwelcome and unused in most generative analyses.
31

1.3.1

Typology and syntax


Typology is not specific to language or linguistics;

rather, it is the discovery and statement of taxonomies


and is applicable wherever there are types which can be
isolated.

In other words, it is a basic methodology which

has -been employed in all fields of science.


Current typological studies of syntax date back only
to the 1960 Dobbs Ferry Conference on Language Universals.
Typological syntacticians, if one name can be appended to
all who use this method, follow the footsteps of Greenberg
(1966b), who set precedent by proposing universals about
surface word orders on the basis of a thirty language
sample.

The logic of his investigation was that univer

sals of syntax should reflect the facts of variation


across languages, and only that variation.
After recording the basic word orders of elements in
various phrases, e.g., verb-object order, Greenberg com
pared the orders of the phrases.

In a number of cases, he

found that some phrases were consistently ordered the same


as other phrases; in others, the fit was more approximate,
though significant.

These correlations, he stated in

terms of implicational and statistical universals,


respectively.

Both kinds of generalization are found in

his universal 22, for example.


(41) a.

if in comparisons of superiority, the only


order or one of the alternative orders is
standard-marker-adjective (SmA), then the
language is postpositional

32

b.

with overwhelmingly more than chance frequency,


if the only order is adjective-marker-standard
(AmS), the language is prepositional

Greenberg's goal in the original investigation was


simply to describe and correlate word orders, and the
discovery of cross-linguistic variation and generaliza
tions remain the foci of most typological syntax.

These

were the expressed goals of the project on language


universals at Stanford (1967-1976), which Greenberg sub
sequently headed along with Ferguson and others.

Note

also a proliferation of related projects, e.g., the Lingua


(now Croom Helm) Descriptive Series instituted by Comrie &
Smith (1977), which aim to provide precise and comparable
descriptions of many less-accessed languages so that they
may be available to future researchers.
Unlike GB analysts, it is relatively clear to the
typologist when a significant generalization has been
discovered.

If there were no correlation between the

order of tense affixes and their associated root and the


order of a verb and its objects, for instance, the rough
expectation is that all four combinations are equally
represented in the world's languages, as in (42).
(42)
VO
OV

TENSE
prefix
suffix
25%
25%
25%
25%

But the fact is that the distribution of these combina


tions is much more skewed, as the following raw numbers
from Hawkins & Gilligan (to appear) indicate.

33

(43)
VO
OV

TENSE
suffix
prefix
24
18
60
2

Though the implication is not absolute, this is strong


statistical evidence for the generalization, OV --> Tense
suffix.
This method of inquiry typologists have borrowed
directly from the Prague School of linguistic theory,
whose forte was the determination of markedness in
phonetics, phonology and morphology.

To extend markedness

theory to syntax, Greenberg (1966a) surveyed the


characteristics of unmarked and marked categories in
phonology, and attempted to apply them to syntactic
phenomena.
The unmarked category can be described in numerous
ways in phonology and morphology: the member of the pair
unaffected by environment; that member which is most com
monly 0; or, the most common alternant.

For instance,

where a language makes a gender distinction, the masculine


gender is generally the unmarked category, and the
feminine marked.

The masculine form of the English noun

may refer to both masculine and feminine objects, e.g.,


actors includes both actors and actresses, but actresses
refers only to actresses.

Both words are based upon the

same base, actor, to which the masculine term has suffixed


^0 (if anything), and the feminine term, -ess.

Because

the masculine term has a wider range of uses, it is the

34

more common of the two in text counts of English.


Furthermore, because these facts hold for nearly all
languages, the masculine form is the unmarked type crosslinguistically as well.
Though morphological marknedness may reflext upon
syntactic constructions, e.g., the fact that passive verbs
have more morphology than actives verbs might lead to the
conclusion that actives are the unmarked member of the
set, the only criterion of morphological markedness which
extends to syntax proper is frequency; thus, the exclusive
dependence upon it in typological studies of syntax.
1.3.2

Typological methods
The methods employed in typological investigations of

syntax remain much the same as in Greenberg's early work:


gather a sample of languages, define the subject of
inquiry, survey the languages for these phenomena, and
note generalizations, with explanation (if any) to follow.
Perhaps the only widely accepted changes in this
method have dealt with the sample of languages.

The best

cross-linguistic survey is of course that one in which


every language is surveyed, but this is not currently
feasible; thus, the typologist depends upon a lesser set
of uncertain adequacy.

Arguments over the proper size

continue, there being a common desire that a survey be


large enough to ensure that all the relevant language

35

types are represented, but little agreement as to how many


is enough for that purpose.
Note, however, that if there are five thousand lan
guages existent, Greenberg accessed only slightly more
than one-half of one per cent of the possible range.

To

guard against underrepresentation of types, it is not so


unusual to find samples of two or three hundred languages
in current typological work, e.g., in the samples of
Stassen (1985) and Dryer (1985).

Not surprisingly, these

larger samples have forced many universals to be reformu


lated as statistical statements.
Bell (1978) has isolated and discussed three other
major problems which plague samples: bibliographic bias,
areal bias, and genetic bias.

Unfortunately, biblio

graphic bias is unavoidable at this point in time, when we


do not have equal access to all languages.

However, it is

possible to minimize, if not eliminate, the other sources


of bias.

Greenberg's language sample was one-fifth Indo-

European languages, even though this family contains only


three per cent of the world's total of languages.

He

therefore underrepresented Austric languages and ignored


the Indo-Pacific family altogether.

These errors are in

principle easily corrected, by paying proportionate


attention to all language families.
Dryer (1986) argues that this is not enough, for
there is another bias inherent in any attempt to reflect
the proper distribution of the worlds languages in any
36

sample: the fact that phenomena found in the larger lan


guage families predominate because of the size of the
language family.

He suggests that language families

should also be examined in order to guard against this


possibility.

Note also that by looking at the distribu

tion of syntactic phenomena at the language family level,


it is readily apparent when an areal bias affects the
results of a survey.

For instance, Dryer points out that

the supposed correlation between adjective-noun and


object-verb orders is not truly a cross-linguistic pheno
menon, but rather the disproportionate influence of a few
large language families in the Asian areal region.
In defining the phenomena under study, there has not
been that great a change since Greenbergs original study.
This partly reflects the typological motto that the
investigation should be as empirically-based and theoryneutral as possible.

Cf. the embracing of this approach

to languages in Comrie (1981), Mallinson & Blake (1981)


and the volumes edited by Li (1975,1976, 1977).

The

rationale for this approach has its benefits, in as much


as theoretical discussions often describe only that data
which falls neatly within a particular analysis.

Further

more, it also allows the structure of the language itself,


rather than the structure of a particular theory, to drive
the description.
But the result is that the definitions of supposedly
syntactic phenomena are often not syntactic themselves.
37

For example, nearly all of the phrasal orders investigated


by Greenberg are defined intuitively and semantically.

In

certain instances, this isolates the same object as does


generative theory, e.g., a verb is the head of the phrase
which contains the verb and its objects.

But there are

many instances in which the semantic and syntactic defini


tions of head pick out different elements.
For example, it is assumed in typological studies of
word order that the head of all numeral-noun sequences is
the noun.
otherwise.

But often the syntactic facts indicate


In the Finnish example (44), although the noun

poika 'boy' is the logical subject, the nominative-marked


element is instead the numeral kolme 'three'.
(44)

kolme
poika-a on tull-ut
three/NOM boy-PART be come-PTCL
'three boys [lit., three of boys] have come'

It also sometimes occurs that there is confusion as


to the class of elements under scrutiny.

For instance,

any XP which carries locational information is assumed by


most typologists to be an adpositional phrase.

But in

many languages the locative elements exhibit nominal


behavior, i.e., they receive the Case appropriate for the
head of a phrase, they assign genitive Case to their
'locative' arguments, and they may be inflected for
nominal possessor marking.
Finnish again provides an example.

Postpositions in

this language are historically nouns, many of which, like

38

the example in (44), still display obvious nominal


behavior.
(44)

talo-n
kohda-lta
house-GEN point-ABL
'in the neighborhood [lit., from the point] of
the house'

The problem with Finnish is that it has developed pure


prepositions in recent times, yet it is still often
classified as a postpositional language, on the basis of
phrases which arguably have a nominal head.
Though typologists claim that the number of phrases
in which the semantic and syntactic criteria differ is
relatively small, and so does not affect their measure
ments of markedness, this problem seriously undercuts the
claim that the object of inquiry is a syntactic typology.
While the manner of surveying languages and noting
generalizations has changed little in recent typological
syntax, there being few advances in observation and the
inductive method in recent times, the role of explanation
has become more important.
Explanation is not implicit in typological work.
Consider the morphologically-based typology of languages
that each student of linguists encounters in his (or her)
first class, i.e., that some languages have few or no
affixes, some have few affixes which carry many meanings,
some have many affixes which each carry one meaning, while
a few can express an entire proposition with a single
morpheme-laden word.

This typology exists independently

39

of a penetrating explanation, though for that reason it


remains peripheral to most linguistic inquiry.
The emphasis in modern typologies of syntax is upon
correlations which can be explained.

Even if Greenbergs

word order correlations were offered independently of any


explanation, they have subsequently been explained in many
different ways by many different typologists.

For

instance, Hawkins (1983) suggests that where Greenberg


posited a biconditional relation, a single principle, the
Head Ordering Principle (HOP) suffices as explanation.
For implicational or statistical universals, an
additional mechanism is required.

This may come in the

form of a counterprinciple which interacts with the


dominating principle, e.g., Hawkins Principle of
Heaviness, which explains certain counterexamples to the
HOP by describing the movement of sentential complements
to clause-peripheral positions.

Or it may simply be the

demonstration that certain counterexamples are more


apparent than real.
1.3.3

Typology and GB
The strongest GB responses to typology begin and end

with outright repudiation: repudiation of typological


syntax as a science, and repudiation of any common ground
between GB theory and typology.

Coopmans, a particularly

strident critic of typological work, expounds on both


themes in a pair of publications (Coopmans 1983,1984).

40

Such vitriol seems wasted effort for at least two


reasons.

First, it presents a narrow view of linguistic

science.

It is undeniable that a science of linguistics

must be constrained in order to be an area of effective


argumentation and discovery.

But typology does operate

within strict constraints, e.g., a proposed language


universal must be supported by cross-linguistic facts.
This is a powerful constraint on cross-linguistic
generalizations, even if it differs from those constraints
imposed by generative theory.
But to be a true science of linguistics, a con
strained approach must incorporate within its research
program an explanatory stance, as Coopmans correctly
points out.

In this respect, GB theory rests upon the

generative standard that its analyses account for the


acquisition of language by children, whereas the typo
logical approach, in and of itself, fails because it is
basically a discovery method rather than a full-fledged
theory of language.
But there is more to this conclusion than Coopmans
lets on.

The fact that typologists seek explanations for

their discoveries, whether in terms of some social or


psychological aspect of human behavior, makes their
endeavor scientific by the same criterion that makes
generative analysis scientific.
Coopmans (1984:67), in arguing against the word order
universals of Hawkins (1983), further argues that 'the two
41

approaches differ greatly in respective goals, and cannot


be compared or related in any obvious way,f makes a second
miscalculation.

It is true that Hawkins' implicational

universals have no place in GB theory because they are


statements of word order and the GB version of X-bar
theory has nothing to say about word order.

One might

therefore criticize Hawkins for working within a older


version of generative syntax, one in which X-bar theory
did make a statement about word order, but this is clearly
a different type of criticism than the one Coopmans tries
to make.
It is an altogether different claim that Hawkins'
implications have nothing to offer any version of genera
tive syntax.

At the very least, Hawkins has isolated

facts about word order co-occurrences that GB syntacticians are only beginning to offer explanations and
analyses for.

In many instances, e.g., word orders inside

the noun phrase, he has discussed data which is totally


alien to GB analysis at present.

It is unthinkable that

these facts are of no possible interest to syntactic


theory, since they define the range of phenomena which
must be explained, whether through GB theory or some other
form of explanation.

In fact, Coopmans partly realizes

these points in a separate statement, where he describes


how a typological universal might serve as the input to
detailed analysis.

42

The point of this rebuttal of Coopmans' article is


not to say that there are not many real points which
separate the two approaches.

There are very real

differences, e.g., the types of explanation offered and


the level at which the analysis is made.

I simply want to

point out that there is no reason to think that the


differences are unsolvable nor any way to prove that the
approaches are incompatible, and so it is more reasonable
to seek the ways in which they may be of mutual benefit.
1.3.4

Deep typology
To summarize the situation thus far: on the one hand,

GB theory provides a rigorous theory of syntax within a


larger theory of linguistic science, one which captures
generalizations via an abstract representation of syntax,
yet it has a severely undernourished sense of what is
cross-linguistically real; typological investigations of
syntax, on the other hand, lack a strong syntactic basis
and depend upon a surface level which yields few excep
tionless generalizations, but afford the user a wide
perspective on possible language types.

The benefits of

combining the two approaches would seem obvious.


Typologists expect the two approaches to converge.
In the introduction to Greenberg et al (1978), Greenberg
notes that typology...
does not... dogmatically exclude work more oriented
toward the generative approach.

43

Ferguson, in that same volume, anticipates that the


awakened interest of generative grammar in other languages
would surely make generativists eager to take advantage of
the language universals discovered by typologists.
But such a combination of approaches is not a simple
task for GB theory, which cannot endanger the basic
assumptions which make it a linguistic science.

Typology,

since it is a method of investigation rather than a theory


per se, is more malleable.

The basic issue to resolve is

the level of generalization, and on this point Coopmans is


correct in his claim that the typologists reliance on the
surface represents a major obstacle to any intersection of
the two approaches.

Although this level is assumed to be

significant by most typologists, there is nothing inherent


in typology which makes this so.

I therefore propose to

conduct a typological investigation of abstract, rather


than surface, phenomena.
The second difficulty concerns explanation, which GB
theory requires be due to an innate and language-specific
cognitive mechanism.

Again, there is nothing in the typo

logical method which makes such an explanation impossible.


Let us assume that the generalizations uncovered by a
typology of abstract phenomena are explainable by innately
specified linguistic principles.
The final obstacle is simply a matter of accepting
typological methods in GB analyses.

Given a typology of

abstract phenomena which is explained by mechanisms which


44

are compatible with the acquisitional talents of children,


there should be no problem, for as long as the surveyed
phenomena are defined within GB theory it is consistent
with the spirit of generative analysis, if not with the
methods historically employed in generative analysis.
Chomsky (1985:52) himself remarks that:
there is no way of delimiting the kinds of evidence
that might in principle prove relevant.
To the varied collection of sources Chomsky cites in the
*

same article--grammaticality judgements, perceptual


experiments, data from language acquisition, studies of
creole languages, and facts of language change--I
therefore propose to add the cross-linguistic survey.
The benefit of this form of evidence I have already
made clear: at the very least, it gives generative syntac
tic theory access to a useful notion of markedness, such
that the analyst may test a particular generalization to
see if it is spurious or parametric.

Though surveys of an

informal or limited nature have been carried out in other


generative work, e.g., Safir (1985), the cross-linguistic
range I have in mind should provide a far more adequate
representation of the types.
1.4

The interaction of typology and GB theory


In the preceding section, I proposed that the differ

ences separating the typological method and GB theory


could be settled.

Here, I demonstrate two ways in which

they meaningfully interact.


45

1.4.1

Typology as confirmation: word order parameters and


word order types
For many of the word orders discussed by Greenberg et

al, e.g., the placement of an adjective relative to the


noun it modifies, GB theoreticians are still searching for
an adequate analysis.

With respect to elements inside the

verb phrase, however, GB analyses have been much more


successful.

It is generally agreed that there are two

main parameters which effect the order of a verb and its


complements, one which operates at d-structure and another
at s-structure.
The question of ordering at d-structure has received
two main treatments: one in which order is established by
X-bar theory and the other in which Theta theory plays
that role.

The first of these alternative parameters

orders the head on either the right or left of its comple


ments; the second fixes the complement position by the
direction a head assigns its theta role(s).
The fact that nontheta-marked complements generally
occur on the same side of the verb as do the theta-marked
variety would appear to favor the head-complement para
meter, which makes no reference to the thematic properties
of items within the verb phrase.

The theta-directionality

parameter must append the claim that nontheta-marked


complements tag along after theta-marked complements.
But the fact that some languages, e.g., Mahou (dis
cussed by Koopman 1984b) and Finnish, display different

46

orders* depending upon the category of the head argues


persuasively for the theta-based solution.

X-bar theory

operates independently of the category of its head and so


a head-statement, in order to capture these facts, would
require an additional statement sensitive to categories;
since this information, in addition to the ordering infor
mation, is contained in the direction of theta-assignment
parameter, it is more general, hence preferred.
The s-structure word order parameter is part of Case
theory, which oversees the assignment of Case to lexical
nouns.

Stowell (1981) has argued that Case may be

assigned either to the right or left in a given language,


very much as the direction of theta-assignment may vary.
Both the head-ordering parameter and the direction
ality of theta-assignment parameter have been proposed as
the result of language-internal argumentation, but the
interesting aspect of these parameters with respect to
typology is that they correctly predict the types of
orders which are found in verb phrases crosslinguistically.
In what is apparently the unmarked situation, the
order generated in the verb phrase at d-structure is
isomorphic with the order at s-structure, ignoring major
movement rules such as passive and WH-extraction.

In

English, the verb assigns both its theta-roles and accusa


tive Case to the right.

In head-final languages such as

47

Japanese both orders are reversed: theta-roles and Case


are assigned to the left.
Assuming that the GB theory of VP word order contains
the two word order parameters, repeated in (42), it is
predicted that there are languages with an asymmetry in
the direction of theta-role and Case assignments.
(42) a.
b.

Case is assigned to either the right of the


left
Theta-roles are assigned to either the right
or the left

Perhaps the best

described of these asymmetriclanguages

is Mandarin (cf.

Koopman 1984ab, Travis 1984,Li

1985).

Each of these analysts has proposed that Mandarin is at dstructure an OV language, despite the fact that this order
is not reflected in all surface forms.

That is, a direct

object in Mandarin may occur in either the preverbal or


postverbal position.
(43) a.

b.

ta nian shu le
he read book ASP
'he read the book'
ta ba shu nian le sange xiaoshi
he BA book read ASP three hour
'he read the book for three hours'

c. *ta nian shu (le) sange xiaoshi


But note that the only elements which occur postverbally
are bare NPs, and even then only a single postverbal NP
(with the exception of double object constructions, cf. Li
1985) per verb.

This fact follows from the noncontrover-

sial assumption that a verb may Case-mark only one NP.


#

Further evidence that Mandarin verbs assign Case to the


48

right comes from adpositions in Mandarin, which also


assign Case to the right.
Yet it does not appear likely that thematic roles are
positioned postverbally in Mandarin, for all other complements of the verb, whether theta-marked or not, occur
preverbally.
(44) a.

Zhangsan zuotian zai xuexiao kanjian-le Lisi


Z.
yest. at school see-ASP
L.
'Zhangsan saw Lisi at school yesterday'

b.

ta zai huaping-li cha le hua


he at vase-inside put ASP flower
'he put flowers in the vase'

c.

ta gei wo mai le chezi le


he for me sell ASP car
ASP
'he sold a car for me'

In conjunction with the fact that a direct object may also


be preverbal (cf. 43b), it seems conclusive that the verb
phrase, like the noun phrase, assigns its theta-roles to
the left at d-structure.

Parallel arguments can also be

made for a mixed VP order in Hakka, another dialect of


Chinese (cf. Hashimoto 1973).
Koopman argues that the inverse case of Mandarin,
i.e., a language which assigns Case to the left but thetaroles to the right, is exemplified by Mahou (Koopman
1984:126).
(45) a.

b.

cEo
wEE ji
mi
bo
na
man/DEF INFL water drink cabin in
'the man drank water in the cabin'
mari ye
(a) fO
seku yE ko a a
na
Mary INFL it tell Sekou to
he INFL come
lu
ma
house to
'Mary is telling Sekou to come home'
49

As with Mandarin, only a bare NP direct object occurs on


one side of the verb phrase, whereas all other consti
tuents occur postverbally.

Similar VP orders are also

encountered in Songhai (Prost 1956), Kpelle (Welmers


1971), Mandinka (Hamlyn 1935), Bambara (Bird & Kante
1976), and Guaymi (Alphonse 1956).
Travis (1984) claims that a fifth type of language is
found, one in which prepositional arguments of a verb
precede the verb, but all else (including bare NP direct
objects and prepositional adjuncts) follow.

Since this

type is not generated by the parameters in (42), she


argues that a third parameter, the head-statement is also
necessary.

Presumably, such a language would be head-

initial, which would account for the fact that the


nontheta-marked PP is phrase-final; assign theta-roles to
the left, which would deliver the preverbal theta-marked
PP; and assign Case to the right, thus predicting the
immediately postverbal positioning of the noun object.
She cites Kpelle as an example of this type.
Unfortunately, my own investigation of Kpelle (cf.
Welmers 1971:17, where the OV order is stated as a rule)
does not replicate her findings; instead, I have found
that Kpelle VP order is comparable to that reported for
Mahou.

The failure of this counterexample to hold up, the

absence of any other languages with this order, plus the


lack of any languages with the sixth order predicted by

50

Travis' three parameters (i.e., the inverse of her Kpelle


proposal) all make her suggestion improbable.
This discussion of GB parameters of VP word order has
many significant repercussions.

First of all, it under

lines the value of the cross-linguistic perspective for


the study of parameters.

Even if the word order para

meters are motivated by language-internal considerations,


the fact is they make predictions about the existent
cross-linguistic types.

The interaction of Case direction

and theta-role direction parameters predicts four types


and four types are found.

This finding confirms the

analysis of VP order in terms of two parameters, and


disconfirms Travis' counterproposal that three word .order
parameters are necessary.
The success of these parameters also clearly demon
strates the superior ability of the generative framework
to provide precise analyses of word order.

Typologists

who have studied the verb phrase have been content to


posit two types of language, one in which the VP is headinitial and one head-final, with the more rare Mandarin
and Mahou types being treated as exceptional or marked.
But no revealing analyses of these latter types has been
offered.
In part, this.is due to the general reliance of
typologists upon a single level of representation.

It is

possible to state two competing principles at that level,


but it rarely happens that the interaction between these
51

principles is made clear.

For instance, Hawkins (1983)

notes that most phrasal orders in most languages seem to


follow a Head Ordering Principle (HOP), which positions
the head of a phrase consistently across different phrasal
types.

Though the HOP is a surface generalization, it

captures roughly the same generalization as the direction


of theta-assignment parameter.
For many of the exceptions to the HOP, Hawkins intro
duces the notion of Heaviness, which describes the move
ment of heavy constituents, e.g., sentential complements,
out of their expected positions.

But Heaviness is invoked

arbitrarily, and it is never made clear why it moves


elements in some languages but not others or why it moves
one or two categories of constituents in one language and
three or four in another.

That is, Hawkins has not speci

fied the precise conditions under which Heaviness over


rules the effects of the HOP.
The GB account of word order, on the other hand, is
both predictable and precise: since the two parameters
operate on different levels of representation, one feeds
(rather than interferes with) the other.

To be fair,

though, it should be noted that the GB analysis does not


cover all of the data Hawkins observes with the HOP and
Heaviness.
Note also that the generative account allows a
precise statement of what basic word order is: the
d-structure order established by the direction of
52

theta-assignment.

As noted above, this parameter is

roughly equivalent to the order established by the HOP,


which also describes basic word order.

However, in the

generative system the generalization is exceptionless.


The definition of basic word order is no small task,
for it is a problem which has troubled typologists from
the beginning.

For Greenberg, basic word order was

defined as the word order which appears in the most basic


forms and uses of language, e.g., that order most commonly
used in a declarative clause free from special discourse
context, using full nouns as arguments, without abnormal
intonation or excess morphological marking.

In many

instances, frequency in text counts has also been used as


a criterion.
As many linguists investigating basic word order have
pointed out, these criteria do not always select one order
in languages where more than a single order is possible.
For example, Brody (1984) reports that all six logically
possible orders of V, S, and 0 occur in Tojolobal, though
only in two, SVO and VOS, can the subject and object be
equal on the animacy hierarchy.

Of these two, VOS has the

least morphological and pragmatic marking, but it is hard


to process in isolation.

SVO order is the most frequent,

but it is interpreted as having a topicalized subject and


it has more morphological marking.
Consider also the difficulties that typologists have
had determining the basic order of VP in German and Dutch
53

(exemplified below).

In main clauses, these languages

often exhibit SVO order.


(46)

Grace gaf het meisje het geld


G
gave the girl
the gold
'Grace gave the girl the gold'

However, with a complex verb the object follows the


auxiliary but precedes the main verb.

Furthermore, OV

order is obligatory in subordinate clauses (with the


exception of sentential objects, to be discussed in the
next section).
(47)

Grace heeft de rijst gekookt


G
has
the rice cooked
'Grace cooked the rice'

(48) a.

Pieter zei dat Grace de rijst heeft gekookt


P
said that G
the rice has
cooked
'Peter said that Grace cooked the rice'

b.

Pieter zei dat Grace het meisje het geld gaf


P
said that G
the girl the
gold gave
'Peter said that Grace gave the girl the gold'

The result is that some typologists have classified it as


OV (Dryer 1987), and still others as VO/OV (Hawkins 1983).
GB syntacticians, at least since Koster (1975), are
in complete agreement that Dutch (and German) have a dstructure OV order.

Generally, the derivation of VO

surface order from an underlying OV order provides a much


simpler analysis for a wide variety of phenomena (cf., for
example, Koster 1976 and Bennis & Hoekstra 1985).
Furthermore, VO orders in Dutch and German occur exclu
sively in those constructions in which the verb moves,
e.g., to satisfy the verb-second constraint, the effects

54

of which are found in the history of all Germanic


languages (including VO languages).
Thus, with respect to the analysis of VP word order,
the interplay between GB and typology is in fact a two-way
street, as suggested in section 1.3.4.

Typology provides

confirmation for GB parameters, and GB theory provides a


model which allows more precise analyses of those para
metric differences.
1.4.2

Typology as a constraint upon abstract analysis:


universals of the comparative phrase and Dutch VP
order
The role of typology need not be restricted simply to

testing the parameters which GB analysts develop.

It is

conceivable that a parametric difference might be isolated


by an investigator working outside the GB framework and
only later be formalized.

For instance, the morphological

typology mentioned in section 1.3 may yet be central to


some formal explanatory analysis.

Furthermore, the GB

parametric analysis of VP word orders could very well have


been motivated by the theory-independent discovery of the
four cross-linguistic orders.

In this section, I discuss

a case where a typologically-based correlation indeed


provides motivation for a GB analysis.
The correlation in question involves order within the
comparative phrase.

The starting point for this discus

sion is the universal concerning these phrases reported in


Greenberg's pioneering study of word order correlations

55

(Greenberg 1966).

There, the following distribution of

languages is reported.
AStd
vso

SVO
sov

Post
Prep

StdA

5
9
0

0
1
9

1
13

10
0

both
0
1
0
1
0

Casual observation reveals two strong correlations, one


relating the comparative phrase with the verb phrase, the
other pairing comparative and adposition phrases.

Each is

counterexemplified by two misfitting languages, yet Green


berg inexplicably ignored the verb phrase correlation and
posited only the equally misfitting adposition correla
tion, universal 22, in (50).
(50) a.

if in comparisons of superiority the only order


or one of the alternative orders is standardmarker-adjective, then the language is
postpositional

b.

with overwhelmingly more than chance frequency,


if the only order is adjective-marker-standard,
the language is prepositional

Since Greenberg's data does not favor universal 22


over a verb phrase-comparative phrase correlation, I
decided to replicate his study with a larger survey of
seventy languages.

For reasons of continuity, I included

in my survey as many of the languages from Greenberg's


original survey as possible, though each was investigated
anew.

With the remaining languages, I attempted to

include language families and types overlooked in the


original survey.

56

My original intent was to retain Greenbergs methods


as much as possible, so that the comparison of the surveys
would be obvious and uncontroversial.

However, the fact

that his definition of comparative phrases was not precise


and semantically-based worked against my desire, for I
could not recreate his intuitions; nor, for that matter,
could I see how a semantic definition of comparatives
would aptly serve as the basis for a syntactic typology.
Greenberg surveyed adjectival comparisons, e.g.,
(51), and so it is not surprising that he considered
important the ordering of the adjective in relation to the
standard of comparison.
(51)

Mary is taller than Jeanie

But there are also comparative phrases with nominal,


verbal, adverbial, and prepositional heads.
(52) a. George ate more pudding than pie
b.

Eamon more fell than walked after a few drinks

c. Ronnie speaks more quickly than carefully


d. AJ drove more over the wall than into it
This indicates that the head cannot be the noun,
adjective, or verb which appears to head the comparative
phrase.
The one element common to all these phrases is a
quantifier, e.g., more or the comparative morpheme -er.
This, I propose (following Bresnan 1973), is the head of
the phrase.

Note that this proposal has the immediate

advantage of providing a syntactic definition of the

comparative phrase, and this syntactic definition, unlike


the semantic one, provides a principled means of eliminat
ing juxtaposed comparatives, e.g., Mary is tall, Jeannie
is less so, as well as the surpass-type comparatives, both
of which Greenberg arbitrarily excluded from his sample.
Of course, the quantifier is not present in all
languages, but either a comparative form of the adjective
or an overt quantifier such as more was found in over half
of the languages in my survey.
(53)

types of comparative phrases


quantifier
verbal
Prep/Post
parataxis
Case
unclassified
total

38
14
8
6
3
1
70

These thirty-eight languages form the basis of my claims


about comparative phrases.

The remaining thirty-two,

though they do not contradict my conclusions, are super


fluous, for they have no syntactically defined comparative
phrase, which is not to say that they may not express
comparison.
The raw results of the survey appear in chart 1 on
the following pages; in tabular form they appear in (54).
AStd

StdA

Both

VO
OV

23
0

2
12

1
1

Post
Prep
Both

2
22
0

10
2
0

1
0
1
58

Bambara
Basque*
Bini
Burmese*
Burushaski*
Cebuano
Chibcha*
Cocoma
Daga
Dani
Dutch
Eskimo
Ewe
Fij ian
Finnish*
Fore
Fulani*
Georgian
Goaj iro
Greek*
Guarani*
Guay mi*
Hakka Chinese
Hawaiian
Hebrew*
Hindi*
Hixkaryana
Hua
Idoma
Ilokano
Jacaltec
Japanese*
Javanese
Kannada*
Khassi
Kpelle
Lingala
Malagasy
Malay*
Mandarin
Mandinka
Maori*
Margi
Mundari
Navaho
Nenets
Ngandi
Norwegian*
chart

SVO/SOV

Prep/Post

SOV
SOV

Post
Post
Prep

SVO
SOV
SOV
VSO

SVO
SOV
VSO
SVO
SVO
SOV
SVO
SVO
SVO
SOV

ovs

SOV
SVO
VSO
VSO
SOV
SVO
SOV
SVO
SOV
SVO
VOS
SVO
SVO
SOV
VSO
SVO
SOV
SOV
SOV
SOV
SVO

verbal
StdA

Q
Q

StdA
StdA

Prep
Case

StdA

Q
Q
Q

AStd
Post
Post
Post
Post

SVO

SOV

AStd
AStd

Prep

SVO
VSO
SVO

type

Post
Post

SOV
SOV
SOV
SOV
SOV

AStd/StdA

Prep

AStd

ptxs
ptxs

AStd
Post
Post

Prep
Prep/Post
Post
Prep
Post
Prep
Prep
Post
Post
Prep
Prep
Prep
Post
Post
Post
Prep
Prep
Prep
Post
Prep
Post
Prep
Post
Prep
Prep
Prep
Prep
Post
Prep
Prep
Post
Post
Post
Post
Prep

StdA
AStd
AStd
AStd/stda

Q
ptxs
verbal

AStd
StdA
AStd
AStd
AStd
AStd

Q
ptxs

Q
Q
Q
StdA

verbal

Q
Q

AStd
AStd
StdA
StdA

Case

Q
ptxs
verbal

AStd
AStd
AStd
StdA
AStd
StdA

Q
Q
Q
Q
Post

AStd
AStd
AStd
AStd
AStd

verbal
verbal

Q
Q
StdA

AStd
AStd
AStd

verbal
verbal

Q
verbal
StdA
StdA
StdA

AStd

Q+Case
verbal
Prep

Q
9

Case
ptxs

: survey of verb, adposition and comparative phrase


orders

59

Nubian*
Northern Paiute
Papago
Papiamentu
Persian
Quechua*
Serbo-Croatian*
Somali
Songhai*
Sre
Swahili*
Tagalog
Thai*
Tibetan
Tiv
Turkish*
Welsh*
Xhosa
Yapese
Yidin
Yoruba*
Zapotec*

SVO/SOV

Prep/Post

AStd/StdA

type

SOV
SOV

Post
Post

StdA
StdA

Post

VSO
SVO
SOV
SOV
SVO
SOV
SOV
SVO
SVO
VSO
SVO

Prep
Prep
Prep
Post
Prep
Prep
Post
Prep
Prep
Prep
Prep
Post

SOV
SVO

Prep
SOV

VSO
SVO
VSO

Post
Prep
Prep
Prep

SOV
SVO
VSO

AStd
AStd
AStd/StdA
StdA
AStd
StdA
AStd
AStd
AStd
AStd
AStd
StdA
AStd
StdA
AStd
AStd
AStd

Post
Prep
Prep

AStd
AStd

Q
Q
Q
Q
Q
Q
Q
verbal

Q
verbal

Q
Q
Post
verbal

Q
Q
Prep
Prep
ptxs
verbal

*also in Greenberg's sample


lower case letters represent the less preferred doublet
chart 1: survey of verb, adposition and comparative phrase
orders
The major disagreements in terms of classification between
Greenberg's sample and my own are my inclusion of Prep &
StdA languages, SOV & AStd languages, and my reclassifica
tion of Guarani' and Finnish.

In the original work,

Guarani^ a Post & VO language, was listed as having StdA


order in the comparative phrase; incorrectly so, as (55)
indicates.
(55) a.

b.

ituja-ve xehe-gui
old-CMPR I-'than'
'older than I'
hata-ve
ita-gui
hard-CMPR rock-'than'
'harder than a rock'

(Guasch 1956)

(Pederson 1977)
60

I encountered two other SVO languages with StdA order,


however, so the reclassification of Guarani* did not create
an empty cell.

Finnish is reclassified, because it has

competing word order variants in both adpositional and


comparative phrases.
Despite the differences in what Greenberg and I
considered the head of the comparative phrase, my investi
gation did not reclassify any more of the languages
originally surveyed by Greenberg.

His results would have

differed radically from mine if the ordering of the quan


tifier, the standard of comparison, and the compared cate
gory were free, but the fact is that they are not: in all
of the languages surveyed, the standard is never posi
tioned between the quantifier and the compared category,
i.e., there are no languages in which more proud than me
is ordered proud than me more or more than me proud.

For

this reason I have retained the measures of order, A and


Std, found in the original survey, even if A is not the
true head.
The two correlations that could be drawn from Green
berg's sample appear somewhat differently in light of this
enlarged survey.

The PP-comparative correlation comes off

somewhat the worse this time, if one pays attention only


to the number of counterexamples: it has four, while the
VP-comparative phrase correlation has only two.

Further

more, the VP correlation has an empty cell, so that even


on the surface an exceptionless implication, OV --> StdA,
61

can be maintained; no such implication is apparent with


the PP correlation.
I decided, therefore, to replace Greenbergs univer
sal with the more adequate surface generalization, hence
forth universal 2 2 , given in (56).
(56) a.

if in comparisons of superiority the order is


StdA, then the language is OV

b.

if the order is AStd, then the language is VO


(statistical)

As Coopmans has correctly pointed out, there is no place


in GB theory for implicational statements like (56).
Still, this does not mean that universal 2 2 is not
surface evidence for some deeper biconditional
correlation, e.g., (57).
OV <--- > StdA

(57)

In fact, analysis of the counterexamples to this correla


tion uniformly demonstrate a systematic behavior at sstructure, which indicates that (57) indeed holds at dstructure.
In Persian, an OV language which has both AStd and
StdA orders in the comparative phrase, the order AStd
conflicts with its OV order (Boyle 1966:61), at least if
(57) is correct.
(58)

a. in
pesar az an
doxtar boland-tar ast
thisboy
than that girl
tall-CMPR is
this boys is taller than that girl
b.

u bistar asb
darad taman (daram)
he more
horse has
than I
have
he has more horses than I d o

62

One possibility is that there is an underlying AStd and VO


correlation which is obscured because
to receive

the object has moved

Case (as in Mandarin), but there is no evidence

that the Persian VP is fundamentally verb-initial;


instead, all NP and PP complements of the verb are
invariably preverbal.
There are, however, indications that the AStd order
is derived.

It is invariably the case that sentential

complements follow their heads (Boyle 1966:75,76).


(59) a.

b.

goft ke farda
miayam
said that
tomorrow I am coming
?he said that he was coming tomorrow'
geza'i
ke mixorim varede xun
misavad
food that we eat arrive blood come
'the food that we eat enters the blood'

A parallel

situation isreported by Andersen (1983),

who cites two other OV languages with AStd orders: Latin


and Finnish.

His classification of Finnish as OV is an

oft-repeated incorrect assessment of that language's word


order, but interestingly enough, the Latin data follows
very closely the facts reported above for Persian.

Again,

the OV d-structure order of Latin is unassailable, and


there are two types of phrases expressing comparison.

The

first of these, limited to comparisons of nominative and


accusative elements, involves a comparative form of the
adjective (in adjectival comparatives) and the standard of
comparison in the ablative Case.
(60)

Cato est Ciceron-e eloquent-ior


Cato is Cicero-ABL eloquent-CMPR
'Cato is more eloquent than Cicero'
63

The second type requires again a comparative form of the


adjective but the standard follows the complementizer quam,
(61)

non callid-ior
es quam hie
NEG cunning-CMPR are than he
'you are not more cunning than he'

This second construction was used for comparison of all


arguments and categories.
Hankamer (1973) has proposed that there is a funda
mental difference between these two comparatives: the
ablative-comparative is phrasal whereas the quamcomparative is clausal.

He cites as evidence the follow

ing array of facts: reduced clauses appear only with the


latter construction; tensed complements likewise appear
only with quam-comparatives; and the quam-comparative
cannot be used if the target of comparison is a relative
pronoun (Hankamer 1973:182-184).
(62) a.

non nascitur ex
malo bonum, non magis quam
NEG born
from bad good
NEG more than
ficus ex
olea
fig from olive
'Good is not born out of bad, no more than a
fig tree from an olive'

b.

haec verba sunt Varron-is, homin-is


these words are Varro-GEN
man-GEN
doctor-ior-is
quam fuit Claudius
learned-CMPR-GEN than was Claudius
'these words are from Varro, a man more
learned than was Claudius'

c.

*amicitia,
quam quae nihil
melius habemus
friendship, than whom nothing better have
'friendship, which we have nothing better than'
(cf. *amicitia, quae nihil melius quam habemus)

Assuming that the quam-comparatives are clausal, the


fact that they follow the adjective (or category) of

64

comparison can be assimilated to the more general fact


that all clausal complements in Latin were extraposed.
(63) a.

liber quern mihi dedisti


book that me
gave
'the book that you gave m e '

b.

accidit ut
esset luna plena
happen that was
moon full
'it happened that it was a full moon'

c.

mitto
quod possessa per vim
disregard that possess by violence
'I disregard the fact that they were possessed
by violence'

This contrasts sharply with all other elements of phrases


in Latin, for Latin was otherwise a head-final language,
albeit one with a great deal of scrambling.
The obvious solution, one which Andersen notes
(1983:76-78) in passing, is that clausal constituents
obligatorily moved in Latin.

We might explain this move

ment in terms of Heaviness as Hawkins suggests, or the


incompatibility of clauses and Case-marking (Stowell
1981).

In either way, the odd word order of the clausal

comparatives is explained in both Persian and Latin: at dstructure, these complements are generated in the pre-head
position in accord with the general rule that assigns
theta roles in VPs and comparative phrases in the same
direction; then the complements extrapose at s-structure,
for whatever reason, thus yielding the surface forms.
The remaining two counterexamples, Dutch (exemplified
in (64)) and Guaymi, pose a related problem.

Each can be

shown to be OV underlying (cf. the arguments in section

65

1.4.1 regarding Dutch d-structure VP order), yet they have


but one unmistakeable order, AStd, in the comparative
phrase.
(64) a.

b.

de jongen
is groter dan ik
the boy-NOM is taller than I-NOM
'the boy is taller than I'
ik vind hemaardiger dan
I find him-ACC nicer
than
'I find him nicer than you'

jou
you-ACC

Again, it is unlikely that an argument can be made for the


VO structure of the Dutch and Guaym:f VPs.

In the latter

language, all verbal complements precede the verb on the


surface level.

And in Dutch, the OV d-structure order of

the verb phrase is also well-motivated (cf. section 1.4.1


and the sources cited there).

Instead, I again suggest

that the order of comparative phrases in this languages


mirrors the order of VPs at d-structure and that movement
at s-structure makes this correlation opaque.
This claim is supported by the fact that sentential
complements of a verb must follow the verb, even though
Dutch is strictly OV (Koopman 198a:221-2).
(65) a.

...dat Marie overal


vertelt dat Jan
that Mary everywhere tell
that John
morgen
komt
tomorrow come
'...that Mary tells everywhere that John will
come tomorrow"

b. *...dat Marie overal dat Jan morgen komt vertelt


This establishes the by now familiar conclusion that these
elements are all extraposed.

66

But what is strikingly different about the Dutch type


of counterexample is that the derivation of the AStd
constructions is entirely opaque.

In Persian and Latin,

at least, there is direct evidence that the StdA order


might be basic, since this surfaces in some comparative
phrases.
How this conclusion might be reached through GB
analysis, which generally demands that there be evidence
which determines the derivation for the language learner,
is the next step, though it is beyond my immediate
concerns.

What is significant is that this analysis is

forced by the correlation in (57) which is based upon


typological observation.

Thus, the second manner by which

GB theory and typology may meaningfully interact is


demonstrated.

1.5

Summary
In the preceding sections, I have set the groundwork

for a deep typology and demonstrated that such an approach


is compatible with and complementary to GB analysis.

This

approach differs from other generative analyses of crosslinguistic phenomena, or parameters, in as much as the
range of language types is not simply restricted to con
firming the findings of a particular analysis, but per
forms an important function in the development of that
analysis.

67

Deep typology is not a separate method which reflects


the findings of GB analysis.

Instead, it is the incor

poration of the typological method into GB analysis.

The

phenomena under scrutiny, after all, are defined in terms


of GB analysis.

Furthermore, it is not as if typology

itself provides the theory under scrutiny.

Instead, a

deep typology is a step within a general GB analysis, in


which a proposal is gauged against the cross-linguistic
facts, in order that the theory may be more adequately
posed.

Deep typology might be used to confirm a complete

ly articulated theory, but the claim here is that it is


more prudent to test a general hypothesis to see if it has
any merit before detailing the proposal fully.
The relation of deep typology to surface typology is
a matter of great importance.

There are those within

generative theory who claim that the generalizations which


exist in the surface forms need not conform in any way to
generalizations which can be maintained at the abstract
level of representation.
The analysis of word order types in section 1.4
indicates that the relation is somewhat closer to one-toone, however, for the surface method identifies two main
types of languages, i.e., head-final and head-initial
languages, which are generated at the abstract level by
the directionality of theta-role assignment parameter.
In the remainder of this work, therefore, I shall
continue to use surface surveys, all the time keeping in
68
________

mind that they report only tendencies rather than


absolutes.

The success of my approach argues persuasively

against those who would claim that the surface-underlying


levels are only arbitrarily related.
The remainder of this dissertation focuses on the
Pro-Drop Parameter, a parameter which has thus far
floundered in poorly constrained language-specific
analysis.

This is not the first typological analysis of

Pro-drop (cf. Kameyama 1985, who isolates four types of


languages and explains them via a discourse-base
analysis), but it is the first deep typology of Pro-drop.
The mood of the next chapter is largely negative, as
I examine the many GB hypotheses of the Pro-drop Parameter
and subject them to a cross-linguistic evaluation.

Though

counterexamples cannot prove these analyses to be incor


rect, more counterexamples are identified, which compounds
the problems of those who would claim that there are no
real counterexamples.

This general conclusion suggests

that the major efforts to study the property underlying


null pronouns have been misguided.
In the third chapter, I begin my positive contribu
tion to the study of Pro-drop by testing the hypothesis
that agreement licenses null pronouns.

It is demonstrated

that the hypothesis makes correct predictions in a wide


range of cases, though it also suffers from a number of
principled exceptions.

Drawing upon the distinction made

in Rizzi (1986a), it is then proposed that these


69

counterexamples should be explained by the proper state


ment of the identification and licensing requirements on
nu11 pronouns.
Chapter four is, in large part, an investigation of
how the theory of identification interacts with null pro
nouns not identified by agreement.

I first propose a

general theory of identification which is modeled on the


facts of identification by agreement, the basic claim
being that an identifier must govern its associated null
pronoun, thus making it visible for interpretation at LF.
I then demonstrate how an expanded theory of identifica
tion, one which maintains the locality requirement of
agreement-identification, may extend to null pronominal
subjects in Mandarin, null subjects and objects in
Japanese, PRO, and null subjects of imperative.

Where

this theory of identification does not suffice, e.g., in


null objects and null possessive pronouns in Mandarin-type
languages, I argue that these are not null pronouns.
The final chapter characterizes licensing in terms of
visibility at PF, i.e., lexicalization of NPs.

This hypo

thesis is first suggested in order to account for the


cross-linguistic distribution of nonthematic subjects,
though it is subsequently used to explain the prohibition
against null subjects in language which have subject
agreement (e.g., Icelandic), and the lack of a lexical
alternative to PRO.

In general, I argue (contra Rizzi

1986) that a null pronoun is structurally distinct from a


70

lexical pronoun,

in that only the latter is Case-marked.

71

2.0

Two views of Pro-drop parameters


In this chapter, I measure the cross-linguistic ade

quacy of the various theories of the Pro-drop parameter.


The reason for this testing is simple: a parameter of
language may well be argued for on the basis of a very few
languages, but if it truly has any descriptive power it
must extend successfully to more than just those few
languages.
The first task is to describe the Pro-drop phenomena
as they have been defined in the generative literature of
the last fifteen years and then review the various ways in
which analysts have correlated these phenomena.

Each of

these analyses makes predictions concerning language types


which can be tested against a cross-linguistic sample.
The second task is preparing to test the predictions
of these analyses against the cross-linguistic sample.
Developing definitions for the phenomena which are appro
priate for a cross-linguistic survey requires some
reworking of the definitions employed in the generative
analyses because not all of the phenomena have been
defined carefully or independently of one another.

The

investigation of these phenomena in one hundred languages


also forces the definitions to depend upon surface cri
teria more heavily than is generally the case in genera
tive analysis.
It will be shown that the results of this survey are
parallel in many ways to the results attained by the
72

cross-linguistic test of word order parameters discussed


in the previous chapter.

If Pro-drop phenomena are truly

correlated in any of the ways predicted by any of the


generative analyses, a particular subset of the possible
language types should be represented in the survey.

Given

this reliance upon fairly a superficial level, it may well


turn out that the surface results err in certain respects,
e.g., some counterexamples may disappear under closer
scrutiny and some generalizations may be overstated.
Deeper analysis of the types thus supplements the surface
survey.
The survey will confirm one of the Pro-drop parameter
analyses if only the predicted types are found or if the
counterexamples to those predictions can be reanalyzed.
In any other case, the survey will indicate that the
premises of the analyses are imperfect, how imperfect to
be measured by the number of unexplained cases.

A large

residue does not disprove a theory, since it is conceiva


ble that an improved version of that theory may still be
ultimately correct; however, even a single unexplained
case may correctly indicate that the tested analysis is
fundamentally flawed and so I will take a sizable residue
as license to consider alternative analyses.

73

2.1

Generative analyses of the Pro-drop Parameter

2.1.1

Null subjects and correlated phenomena


Though the matter of null subjects is broached in

early tranformational grammars of nonlndoEuropean


languages, e.g., Hidatsa Syntax by Matthews (1965), the
first serious treatment of null subjects in generative
work appeared in Perlmutter (1971).

He noted that the

possibility of null subjects cooccurred with the grammaticality of extracting subjects from subordinate clauses
headed by an overt complementizer.

That is, the sentences

(Perlmutter 1971:103) in (1) and (2) are grammatical in


Spanish (and, in his sample, Italian, Serbo-Croatian,
Arabic, Hebrew, Hausa, Warlpiri, and Basque).
(1)

(nosotros) he-mos
trabaja-do todo el dia
we
have-PRES/lp work-PTCL all the day
we have worked all day'

(2) a.

qui^n

diji-ste
i

que e

sal-i-cT

temprano

who
say-PRET/2s that
leave-PRET-3s early
'who did you say that left early'
b.

las cosas

que dij-i-ste
que e
i
i
the things that say-PRET-2s that
pasa-ron
happen-PRET/3p
'the things that you said that happened'

Furthermore, he noted that the null subject could either


be a thematic pronoun or a nonthematic pronoun, e.g., the
subject of weather and time sentences, extraposed struc
tures, and reflexive passives (Perlmutter 1971:104,107.)

74

(3) a. (*el) lluev-e


rain-PRES/3s
'it is raining'
b. (*el) es
tarde
be/PRES/3s late
'it is late'
c. (*el) es
evidente que no pasa-ron
be/PRES/3s evident that NEG leave-PRET/3p
'it is evident that they didn't leave'
d. (*el) se
quier-e
que la Nueva
REFL want-PRES/3s that the New
Inglaterra se-a
libre y independiente?
England be-SUBJ/3s free and independent
'does one want that New England be free and
independent?'
This situation contrasts sharply with English and
French, where both thematic and nonthematic subjects

must

be lexical and the subject of a subordinate sentence

can

only be extracted under restricted conditions (Perlmutter


1971:99,100,102,104,107).
(4)

*(they) ate the soup without a spoon

(5) a. *(it) is raining


b. *(it) is late
c. *(it) is evident that Swedish imperialism is on
its last legs
d.

does *(one) want that New England be free and


independent?

(6) a. *who

did he say that e fainted


i
i
b. *the events which he said that e took place
i
i
(7)
*(ils) ont mange la soupe sans cuillere
(8) a. *(il) pleut
b. *(il) est tard
S

S'

c. *(il) est evident que 1'imperialisme suedois est


a bout de souffle
75

(8) d.

veut-*(on) que la Nouvelle Angleterre soit


libre et independante?

(9) a. *qui

a-t-il dit que e


i

s 'est evanoui
i

b. *les ^venements

qu'il a dit que e


i

se sont
i

drouls
Perlmutter subsequently formulated a single principle (cf.
section 2.1.2) to generalize over the data in (1) through
(9).

This generalization is significant for two reasons:

correctly stated, it explains the differences between two


types of languages; and it simplifies the grammar of each
language.
The latter of these theoretical gains is one familiar
from early tranformational grammar, where refining the
rules and statements which form the grammar of a single
language was a major concern.

The first reason is some

what more radical, in so far as it purports to make a


cross-linguistically adequate statement.

Though this form

of adequacy had been a goal of generative grammar from the


start, the data Perlmutter noted is the first crosslinguistic generalization, i.e., parameter, in generative
grammar.

For better or worse, it has served as the basis

for all subsequent work on Pro-drop phenomena.


In Kayne (1980), it was proposed that an additional
syntactic phenomenon correlates with null subjects and the
subordinate subject extractions described by Perlmutter:
subject inversion constructions.

In Italian, a language

with both null subjects and subordinate subject

76

extractions, but not in English or French, subject inver


sions are grammatical.
(10) a.
b.

hanno telefonato molti amici


sono arrivati molti amici

(11) a. *have telephoned many friends


b. *have arrived many friends
(12) a. *ont telephone* beaucoup d'amis
b. *sont arrives beaucoup d'amis
While Perlmutter1s correlations were supported by a data
base of ten languages, Kayne's new correlation was moti
vated solely by the differences separating the three
languages exemplified above.

Still, the correlation has

received widespread acceptance because it does appear to


capture a significant difference between these languages;
the fact that theory-constrained analyses have been able
to formalize this difference (cf. 2.1.2) gives it theoryinternal justification as well; besides, the correctness
of a generative analysis has never been directly motivated
by the number of languages it extends to.
These four phenomena form the core cluster of proper
ties generally associated with the pro-drop parameter:
null thematic subjects, null nonthematic subjects, free
extraction of subordinate subjects, and free inversion of
the subject.

A handful more have been suggested at one

time or another, but most of these noncore cases will be


ignored in this dissertation because they have been

77

researched very little and their connections to the other


phenomena are quite unclear.
The exception is Jaegglis (1982) suggestion that
null subjects of infinitives and null objects in Spanish
object-clitic constructions, e.g., (13a) and (13b) respec
tively, should also be partly analyzed within the Pro-drop
Parameter.
(13) a.

b.

Juan quiere PRO com-er ahora


i
i
Juan wants
eat-INF now
Juan wants to eat now
Juan me

lo
dio" 0 0 ayer
i
J
i j
Juan lsDO.CL 3smI0.CL give
yesterday
Juan gave it to me yesterday

These correlations will also be ignored for the

present,

though versions of Jaegglissuggestions playsignificant


roles in the later chapters.
Given the four core phenomena, there are any number
of ways in which one might correlate them, though three
patterns have predominated.

In the following section, I

discuss the indirect correlation assumed by Perlmutter and


the subsequent attempts to make the link between null
subjects and the other phenomena more direct.

In 2.1.3, I

discuss recent alternatives which postulate a less direct


correlation.
2.1.2

Correlating the phenomena


Given only the data in (1) through (9), one might

suppose that Perlmutter would argue for a direct

78

correlation between the three phenomena he analyzed.

This

would explain the two types of language exemplified: those


with null thematic subjects, null nonthematic subjects and
free subordinate subject extractions, i.e., null subject
languages (NSLs); and those without, nonNSLs.
But Perlmutter knew of a third type:

Dutch. Some

years later, Maling & Zaenen (1978) addedIcelandic


this list.

to

Neither language tolerates null personal

pronominal subjects, yet both allow extractions of a


subject from a clause headed by a complementizer.
(Examples of Dutch and Icelandic are from M & Z 1978:478.)
(14) a. *(ik) heb ze
allemal gezien
I
have them all
seen
'I saw all of them'
b.

wie

vertelde je dat e
i

(Dutch A)

gekomen was
i

who said
you that
come
was
'who did you say that had come?'
(15) a. *(hun) var farinn til Island
she was gone
to Iceland
'she went to Iceland today1
b.

sag^ir \r a^S

hver
i

i dag(Icelandic)
today

vaeri kommin til

LA

who
say
you that
was
come to
'who did you say that had come to LA?'

LA

Both languages have null nonthematic subjects, but only in


constructions in which the subject is not moved to satisfy
the verb second constraint.

Where the subject is not

topicalized, however, the Dutch nonthematic subject is


optionally null; the Icelandic nonthematic subject must be
null (M&Z 1978:481,484).

79

(16)

gisteren werd (er) door het hele


dorp gedanst
yesterday were there by the whole town danced
'yesterday, there was dancing by the whole
village.'

(17)

df gaer
var (*y6ai) mikill snjor a jfir^inni
yesterday was there more
snow
on ground
'yesterday, there was more snow on the ground.'

Perlmutter's solution was to propose a filter, (18),


which he suggested was operative only in nonNSLs.
(18)

any sentence other than an Imperative in which


there is an S which does not contain a subject
in surface structure is ungrammatical

Note that the implication, +FILTER --> -NSL makes no


precise predictions concerning NSLs, hence the two NSL
types: Spanish and Dutch.
What apparently separates these two types of lan
guages is a rule deleting subject pronouns which operates
only in NSLs like Spanish.

Perlmutter's core NSLs are

thus defined by the implication, +NSL <--> (-FILTER &


+DELETION RULE), which is represented pictorially in (19),
(The doubly-headed arrows in this and subsequent represen
tations represent a biconditional relation.)
(19)

null thematic
subjects

null nonthematic
subjects
(-FILTER)
+DELETION

free
subordinate subj ect
extractions
Perlmutter's generalization was later readdressed in
Chomsky & Lasnik (1977).

In this paper, C&L investigated

80

the use of filters to constrain a freely generating gram


mar.

The filter relevant to this discussion is the that-

trace filter, which marks as ungrammatical sequences of


the complementizer that and a trace (Chomsky & Lasnik
1977:451).
(20)

*[
CP

that [ e]] unless S or its trace is in the


NP
context: [ NP
...]
NP

The major differences between Perlmutters account and the


C & L analysis revolve around what is to be considered
universal.

C & L s goal was a theory of grammar in which

universal filters constrained the output of rules; thus,


they assumed that the deletion rule (which was the univer
sal for Perlmutter) was the language-specific part of the
analysis of null subject phenomena.
By essentially turning Perlmutter!s analysis on its
head, C&L were able to restate the correlation in the
biconditional statement, DELETION RULE <--> NSL.

This

deletion rule, they suggested, affected not only pronomi


nal subjects, but also the traces of subject extractions
and so NSLs evaded filter (20).
(21)

null thematic
subjects

null nonthematic
^ subjects
+DELETI0N
+FILTER

that-trace filter violations


Though C&Ls analysis did not directly address the
Dutch type of language, their promise of reasonable
81

alternative analyses' (p.452, fn.55) was fulfilled later


in Pesetsky (1982), discussion of which follows the re
analysis of null subject phenomena in Taraldsen (1980).
In this paper, Taraldsen took two new steps: a re
statement of C & L's generalization in a newer model of
generative grammar; and a characterization of the role of
agreement morphology.
The first step was to reduce C & L's filter to the
Nominative Island Constraint (NIC), which requires that a
nominative anaphor be bound.

The trace of a subject

extracted out of a clause headed by an overt complemen


tizer is not bound by the trace in COMP because COMP is
already filled by the overt complementizer, e.g., that,
and a separate filter disallows a doubly-filled COMP.
(22)

*[

x y]
COMP

Thus, that-t sequences in a nonNSL fail the NIC.

A that-t

sequence in a NSL, on the other hand, evades the NIC


because subject agreement (AGR) is a possible binder of
the subject position.
The same property--binding by AGR--also underlies the
possibility of a null subject in an NSL, but AGR in
English and other nonNSLs is not 'rich' enough to bind the
subject position and so a subject may not be null.
Pesetsky, taking advantage of Taraldsen's notion,
'richness of inflection', subsequently argued that Dutch
(and presumably Icelandic) is a true NSL, following C &

82

L 1s intuition: both null subjects and that-t sequences are


'saved' by being bound by AGR.

But only nonthematic

subjects can be null because the Dutch inflectional system


is not rich enough to identify a null personal pronoun.
Though the role of AGR had been noted in previous
work, Taraldsen was the first to make its role explicit.
In so doing, however, he split the correlations apart to
some extent.

He restated the core correlation as that

holding between null nonthematic subjects and that-t fil


ter violations, i.e., AGR, with null thematic subjects
requiring some additional property, rich AGR.

(The

singly-headed arrow connecting AGR and rich AGR represents


the implicational relation: rich AGR --> AGR.)
(23)

null
thematic<------ >rich
subjects
AGR

null
4
that-t
nonthematic <----- >AGR<---- >f ilter
subjects
violations
In Rizzi (1982), Taraldsen's correlations are altered
in two ways.

First, it is suggested that Taraldsen's NIC

account of that-t filter violations is incorrect and that


preverbal subjects in NSLs (such as Italian) are in fact
not possible sites for extraction.

The basis of Rizzi's

arguments can be found in Kayne (1981), where it is care


fully argued that the ECP (the principle partly replacing
the NIC in the GB framework) operates at both LF and sstructure.

That is, the application of quantifier raising

(QR) at LF leaves behind a trace, just as syntactic


83

movement does, and it can be shown that this trace must be


properly governed: where it is not, the corresponding
interpretation is absent.

Rizzi extended Kayne's argu

ments to facts of Italian where, if AGR were truly a


proper governor, quantifiers in embedded subject position
should be able to take wide scope according to Taraldsen's
analysis (Rizzi 1982:124).
(24) a.

b.

non pretendo che tu arresti nessuno


NEG require
that you arrest
nobody
'I require that you arrest nobody
non pretendo che nessuno ti
arresti
NEG require
that nobody you arrest
I don't require that anybody arrest you'

With the quantifier in object position, a wide scope


reading is (marginally) acceptable for the quantifier
nessuno because the object position is properly governed
by the lexical verb, arresti.

Despite the richness of

Italian AGR, however, the wide scope reading for (24b) is


impossible.

This finding suggests that AGR does not di

rectly enter into the analysis of extraction phenomena,


which would seem to indicate that the properties under
lying that-t filter violations and null nonthematic sub
jects are distinct.
But this does not call into question the subject
inversion-null nonthematic subject correlation.

The scope

arguments only demonstrate that as the ECP holds for NSLs


as well as nonNSLs there must be some other property of
NSLs which allows apparent violations of the ECP.

The key

for Rizzi was the observation that the wide scope reading
84

missing from (24b) is available with an inverted subject


(Rizzi 1982:125), e.g., (25).
(25)

non pretendo che ti


arresti nessuno
NEG require that 2sD0.CL arrest nobody
?I don't require that anybody arrest you'

This means that the inverted subject is properly governed.


Since subject inversion feeds subject extraction at
LF, Rizzi continued, it is likely that it also performs
the same intermediary role with respect to s-structure WHmovement, such that the apparent ECP violations (26a)
should be analyzed instead as (26b) (Rizzi 1982:145-147).
(26) a. chi
i
b . chi

credi che e verra


i
credi che 0 verra e

Rizzi's conception thus follows Taraldsen's in making


null thematic subjects a separate though dependent case
but also in retaining the strict cooccurence of null
nonthematic subjects and that-t filter violations.

It

differs by introducing subject inversion as an intermedi


ary between the latter two correlates, however.
(27)

null
thematic<----- >INFL
subjects
[+ref]
null
nonthematic<--- >INFL<
subjects
[+pnl]

subject
that-t
>inversion<---- >f ilter
violations

For the most part, the difference between Taraldsen


and Rizzi is one of substance but not style.

Rizzi's

conception of the correlation predicts only the three


types listed in (28).

85

(28)

null
null
thematic nonthematic subject
subjects subjects
inversion
+

+
+

+
+

that-t
filter
violations
+
+

These three types vary from the three predicted by


Taraldsen's analysis only in terms of subject inversions,
which Taraldsen did not consider.
In addition, Rizzi maintained the same basic ra
tionale that had driven previous conceptions of the corre
lations: that the more the phenomena which can be directly
correlated, the more the analysis of that property under
lying these phenomena is constrained.

Just as Taraldsen

constrained his analysis of null nonthematic subjects with


the supposedly correlated that-t filter violations, so
Rizzi constrained his analysis of the property underlying
null nonthematic subjects by the null nonthematic subjectsubject inversion correlation.
In the next section, I discuss another view of the
null subject phenomena which has not maintained such di
rect links between null subjects and the other correlates.
In these analyses, the association of null subject pheno
mena becomes much more indirect, with an attendant loss of
constraint.
2.1.3

Less direct correlations


In subsequent work on the Pro-drop parameter, facts

about other languages have come to light, each having

86

significant repurcussions for any discussion of the null


subject-related phenomena.
In certain instances, linguists have described types
of languages not predicted by any of the analyses of the
Pro-drop parameter noted in the preceding section.

For

example, Chao (1981:50) has pointed out that Brazilian


Portuguese has null subjects but not subject inversion.
(29) a.

(eles) saira-m
they leave-3p
'they left'

b. *sa:ram eles
Mandarin also displays the same set of characteristics
(Huang 1982,1984).

This type of language presents a major

difficulty for that aspect of null subject analyses


concerned with recovering the content of the null
subjects, since Mandarin lacks agreement morphology, but
if Huang's analysis is correct and Mandarin does have null
subjects then it also has ramifications for the present
discussion because Mandarin lacks subject inversion.
Safir (1985) took these exceptional types as impetus
for a new analysis in which null nonthematic subjects,
null thematic subjects, and subject inversions are the
result of three independent though related parameters, the
interaction of which is represented in (30).
(Intersecting lines in (30) are additive, e.g.,
(NOM-drop + SCLs) <---> null thematic subjects.)

87

(30)

null
nonthematic<
subjects

>N0M-drop
parameter

that-t filter
violations
Null nonthematic subjects, he suggested, are possible
whenever a language may optionally realize nominative Case
(NOM-drop parameter).

Null thematic pronouns also require

a positive specification for NOM-drop, though they addi


tionally require that a language have subject clitics
(SCLs).

In an NSL like Italian, these SCLs are not lexi

cal because of the effects of NOM-drop; in a nonNSL like


French, on the other hand, the SCLs are lexical because
French is not positively specified for NOM-drop.
Subject inversion is triggered by a third parameter,
the ability of SCLs to reassign their nominative Casemarking to a postverbal subject.

As Safir adopts Rizzi!s

arguments that that-t filter violations reduce to extrac


tion of inverted subjects, these parameters yield the
connections between the null subject phenomena pictured in
(30), and predict the types in (31).

88

(31)
a.
b.
c.

null
null
thematic nonthematic subject
subjects subjects
inversion
+
+
+
+
+

d .

that-t
filter
violations
+

e.
Among the types in (31), three (31ace) are predicted
by Rizzi's typology and one (31b) corresponds to the type
defined by Brazilian Portuguese, assuming that apparent
that-t filter violations are indeed something else (cf.
section 2.2.2.3).

The final type (31d) is a language with

subject inversion (and that-t filter violations) but no


null subjects of any kind, a type which Safir suggested is
exemplified by the northern Italian dialects Trentino and
Modenese.
Safir's analysis has been questioned in two ways.
First, Rizzi (1986b) has convincingly demonstrated that
the northern Italian dialects are indeed NSLs.

It is true

that subject clitics in these languages are lexical, as in


French, such that it would appear that Safirs NOM-drop
rule has not applied.

However, Rizzi argues, on the basis

of coordination and word order facts, for a fundamental


difference between French clitics and the TrentinoModenese clitics: the former are phonological clitics and
the latter are syntactic clitics, i.e., agreement.

There

fore, (31d) really does not exist except as an apparent


counterexample to (31a).

89

The status of exceptional type (31b) is also open to


reanalysis.

Safir takes the analyses of Brazilian Portu

guese and Mandarin at face value, but it is quite con


ceivable that they are also merely apparent counterexam
ples.

That is, perhaps the Rizzi hypothesis is correct

but its effects are obscured in these languages because of


some as yet unanalyzed aspect of these languages gram
mars.

For instance, Mandarin might not be an NSL, despite

Huangs analysis.
The possibility that the other counterexamples are
only apparent is an obvious ploy, one which is aided
immeasurably by the limited sampling of languages for
which there have been generative analyses of null sub
jects.

In the twenty or so languages which have received

published generative treatment on this matter (chart 2),


nine fail the Rizzi prediction of a direct null nonthema
tic subject-subject inversion correlation.

In each in

stance, the language has null nonthematic subjects but not


subject inversion.

Given the close areal and genetic

relations (hence, similar syntaxes) holding between eight


of these, it is extremely likely that the persistent
believer in this correlation can find some syntactic pro
perty which interferes with the overt display of subject
inversion in these languages.

Though the precise

connection is not clear, seven of these languages (Dutch


A, Old French, standard German, Bavarian German,

90

null
thematic
subjects
Arabic
Levantine
Bani-Hassan
Chamorro
Dutch:A
B
English
Flemish:west
French:modern
old
German:standard
Bavarian
Hausa
Hebrew
Icelandic
Irish
Italian
Japanese
Mandarin
Portuguese
European
Brazilian
Quechua: Imbabura
Spanish
Swedish
ND:
(1):
(2):
(3):
(4):

null
nonthematic subj ect
inversion
subjects

thatfilt<
violat

yes(l)
yes
yes
no
no
no
yes
no
yes
no
yes
yes
yes
no
yes
yes
no( 3)
no( 3)

yes(1)
yes
ND
no
yes
no
yes
no
yes
yes
yes
yes
yes
yes(2)
yes
yes
ND
yes

yes(1)
yes
yes
no
no
no
no
no
no
no
no
yes
yes
yes
no
yes
no
no

no
yes
yes
no
yes
no
yes
no
ND
no
yes
yes
yes
yes
yes
yes
ND
ND

yes
yes
yes(l)
yes
no

yes
yes
ND
yes
no

yes(4)
no
yes(1)
yes
no

no
yes
no
yes
yes

no data, not testable


in main clauses only
except when sentence-initial in main clauses
null subject without AGR
inverted subject is obligatorily focused

chart 2: cross-linguistic range of generative Pro-drop


analyses
Icelandic, Irish, and West Flemish) have obvious syntactic
verb movement in simple sentences.
If these languages (and the other two) can be shown
to be only superficial counterexamples, the correlation
between null nonthematic subjects and subject inversions
would be maintained, except where some additional syntac
tic phenomenon such as verb-movement interferes.

This

91

Indo European
Dutch A, B (Maling & Zaenen 1978)
English (Perlmutter 1971)
west Flemish (Bennis & Haegemann 1984)
modern French (Perlmutter 1971)
Old French (Adams 1987)
standard German, Bavarian German (Bayer 1983)
Icelandic (Maling & Zaenen 1978; Platzack 1987)
Irish (McCloskey & Hale 1984)
Italian (Rizzi 1982)
European Portuguese (Zubizarreta 1983)
Brazilian Portuguese (Chao 1981)
Spanish (Perlmutter 1971, Jaeggli 1982)
Swedish (Platzack 1987)
Afro-Asiatic
Levantine Arabic, Bani-Hassan Arabic (Kenstowicz 1984)
Hausa (Tuller 1982)
Hebrew (Borer 1984)
Chamorro (Chung 1982ab,1984,1987)
Japanese (Hasegawa 1985, Hoji, p.c.)
Mandarin (Huang 1984)
Imbabura Quechua (Cole 1982,1987)
chart 2a: genetic and bibliographic listing of chart 2
languages
approach to troublesome counterexamples clearly parallels
the explanation given by Pesetsky (1982) for the lack of a
direct correlation between null thematic and nonthematic
subjects.

Dutch A has null nonthematic subjects but

obligatorily lexical thematic subjects (Dutch B and


Icelandic), he argued, because they are NSLs with an AGR
too weak to license thematic subjects.
As is frequently stated in generative grammar, it is
impossible to prove an analysis incorrect; rather, it is
only possible to improve upon an existent analysis.

Cer

tainly, reanalyzing troublesome counterexamples is one way


to improve an existing analysis.

Nevertheless, if the

null subject parameter counterexamples are real, then the

92

type of investigation of null subjects instigated by


Perlmutter's original correlation might be improved by
denying the close correlations, as Safir did.

Choosing

among the many possible improvements depends upon a number


of evaluative criteria.
I would like to propose a relatively new (at least in
generative circles) approach to deciding this question,
one which depends upon an expanded notion of descriptive
adequacy.

As noted above, one point which makes it possi

ble for analyses of Pro-drop parameters to persist in


correlating null subjects, subject inversions and that-t
filter violations, despite a fair number of counterexam
ples, is the possibility that the counterexamples are all
of a genetically and areally related type.

This gives the

illusion that the counterexamples are in some sense prin


cipled, hence explainable.
If any of the various correlations are correct, how
ever, they should demonstrate the same viability when
tested against a larger, less biased sampling of lan
guages .
If they do not stand up to this kind of scrutiny on
the surface and the counterexamples resist reanalysis,
then the analyses of Pro-drop discussed in this section
are that much less plausible.

At the very least, such a

lowering of plausibility only provides more data to be


solved by the next generative analysis; at the most, such
a survey strongly indicates that the analysis of null
93

subjects is best served not by rearranging the relations


between the supposed null subject phenomena, an option
taken by both Rizzi and Safir, but by abandoning this line
of research altogether.
Therefore, before examining the relation between null
subjects and their supposed correlates any further, I will
determine the cross-linguistic distribution of these phe
nomena.

That is, I intend to expand and redo Perlmutters

original survey, as it has been supplemented in subsequent


generative work, with a larger and more responsible
sampling of languages.
2.1.4

Summary
Before leaving this section, it is useful to provide

an easily accessed review of the analyses which are being


tested.

Three hypotheses concerning the Pro-drop Parame

ter have been discussed: Taraldsen (1980), Rizzi (1982)


and Safir (1985).
In the Rizzi hypothesis, null nonthematic subjects,
subject inversions and that-t filter violations are di
rectly correlated and null thematic subjects are indi
rectly correlated to the property which underlies these
three.
(32) a. direct (biconditional) correlations
null nonthematic subjects <--> subject inversion
subject inversion <--> that-t filter violations
b. indirect (implicational) correlations
null thematic subjects ---> null nonthematic
subjects

94

The predictions are quite clear: barring interference from


some other phenomenon, all three directly correlated phe
nomena should occur in a language or none should occur,
and null thematic pronouns should occur only in a subset
of those languages in which the other three occur.
(33)

null
null
thematic nonthematic subject
subjects subjects
inversion
+

+
+

+
+

that-t
filter
violations
+
+

Precisely these three types, minus the specifications for


subject inversion, are predicted by Taraldsen's similar
correlations.
(34) a.
b.

null nonthematic subjects <---> that-t filter


violations
null thematic subjects ---> null nonthematic
subjects

Safirs hypothesis eschews direct associations for


the most part, though he adopts Rizzi's direct subject
inversion-that-t filter correlation and a revised version
of Taraldsen's indirect correlation between null thematic
and nonthematic subjects.

The null nonthematic subject-

subject inversion link is indirect for Safir, however.


(35) a.
b.

subject inversion <---> that-t filter


violations
null thematic subjects ---> null nonthematic
subj ects
null thematic subjects plus Case-assignment by
SCLs) ---> subject inversion

95

These correlations yield five predicted types.


(36)
a.
b.
c.
d.
e.

2.2

null
null
thematic nonthematic subject
subjects subjects
inversion
+
+
+
+
+
-

that-t
filter
violations
+

Preparations for the survey


Like the analyses reported in the previous chapter,

the goal of the survey undertaken in the remainder of this


chapter is to uncover generalizations of universal validi
ty.

Instead of developing an analysis of null pronouns on

the basis of a well-known and interrelated group of lan


guages, this survey tests the cross-linguistic plausibili
ty of the various Pro-drop parameter analyses.
As a preliminary to the sample itself, I shall be
concerned with two issues: the make-up of the language
sample, and the definition of the phenomena to be sur
veyed.

The results of this survey are reported in the

following section, 2.3.


2.2.1

The data-base expanded


There are any number of errors which can be made in

conducting cross-linguistically viable work (Bell 1978).


By far the greatest error made in previous work on the
Pro-drop parameter has been one of areal and genetic bias,
though the small size of the investigation has also tended
to invalidate its conclusions, at least in the minds of
96

more cross-linguistically minded linguists.

Of the

twenty-two languages which have been analyzed for Pro-drop


within the generative framework (cf. chart 2 in 2.1.3),
fifteen are IndoEuropean, four more are AfroAsiatic, and
only three fall outside Europe or northern Africa.
These errors would appear to be quite easily recti
fied: one need only ascertain the true distribution of
languages and language families and balance the languages
in the survey against this distribution, making certain to
choose a sample size large enough to capture the major
forms of variation.

This is the basic rationale behind

the figures in chart 3.


The figures for the number of languages in the world,
as well as the language family classifications, are based
upon Ruhlen (1986).

After the total number of languages

is rounded to five thousand for convenience and one per


cent is arbitrarily alloted for each of two new classifi
cations, language isolates and creole languages, the
figures yield the percentages in the second column of
chart 3.
For practical reasons, the sample has been limited to
one hundred languages, such that each language family
should be represented by the whole number in column two,
but many of these numbers are less than one.

I have

nevertheless included at least one representative from


every family in the survey, even when the percentage of
languages represented by that family did not reach one
97

language family

# of lgs

Khoisan
31
Niger-Kordofanian
1064
Nilo-Saharan
138
Afro-Asiatic
241
Caucasian
38
144
Indo-Hittite
Uralic-Yukaghir
24
Altaic
63
Chukchi-Kamchatkan
5
Eskimo-Aleut
9
Elamo-Dravidian
28
Sino-Tibetan
258
Indo-Pacific
731
Austric
1175
Miao-Yao
4
Austro-Asiatic
155
Daic
57
Austronesian
959
Australian
170
Na-Dene
34
Amerind
583
Algic
16
Mosan
27
Siouan-Yuchi
11
Caddoan
4
Kutenai
1
Keresan
2
Iroquoian
7
Penutian
68
Hokan
28
Uto-Aztecan
25
Tanoan
7
Oto-Manguean
17
Chibchan-Paezan
43
macro Ge
21
macro Pano
49
macro Carib
47
Andean
18
Equatorial
145
Tucanoan
47
isolates,unclassified
21
creoles
37
total

roughly 5000

% of total lgs

# in survey
1
18
3
5
1
3
1
1
1
1
1
5
13
19

0.6
21.3
2.7
4.8
.8
2.9
.5
1.3
.1
.2
.6
5.2
14.6
23.5
.1
3.1
1.1
19.2
3.4
.7
11.7

0
3
1
15
3
1
17

.3
.5
.2
.1
.0
.0
.1
1.4
.6
.5
.1
.3
.9
.4
1.0
.9
.4
2.9
.9
.4
.7
100.0

1
1
0
0
0
0
1
1
1
1
1
1
2
1
1
1
1
2
1
2
4
100

chart 3: statistical frequency of each language family

98

percent.

This minimum number of languages from each fami

ly, in conjunction with the one hundred language limit,


means that language families with higher percentages are
represented by a number somewhat lower than their actual
percentages.
Even with this method, many language families are
represented by only a single language, one which con
ceivably might not be representative of the family.

Where

possible, the method I employed was to look at more than


one grammar for each family and where there was signifi
cant variation between the two languages I included both
in the survey.

In the Macro-Siouan family, four languages

were (unwittingly) surveyed in the course of my investiga


tions: Biloxi, Cherokee, Pawnee, and Tuscarora.

All four

yielded the same information and so only Cherokee, the one


in which I had garnered the most complete and most reli
able (i.e., native speaker) data, was retained.
Equal care was taken when choosing representatives
from the larger language families.

In IndoEuropean, fa

miliarity with the languages enabled me to chose widely


divergent types.

In other families where more than a

single representative was selected, e.g., in Niger-Kordofanian, I was careful to include languages from each major
grouping within the family.
These manipulations proved to be quite simple, espe
cially when compared to the difficulties encountered in
finding source materials for each of the language
99

families.

By far, the greatest deterrent to a fair sam

pling is the dearth of reliable syntactic information.


The most reliable source of syntactic information is per
sonal fieldwork and I was fortunate enough to have first
hand source materials (i.e., researched directly by myself
or by colleagues) for sixteen languages which I included
in the survey.

In a very few instances, I was able to

take advantage of articles which directly addressed the


Pro-drop parameter.

In the end, however, I was heavily

dependent upon the information available in grammars of


languages.
The languages of the survey display a peculiar bi
bliographic bias, the effect of which is uncertain, for
the chosen one hundred are a subset not just of those
languages for which a grammar was written but of those for
which I could simply find a grammar.

From among a total

pool of probably over a thousand available grammars (i.e.,


the estimated grammar holdings of the USC and UCLA library
systems), I perused over two hundred, settling finally for
the most representative and most complete one hundred.
Any good grammar of a language easily yields informa
tion on whether subjects can be null; most even identify
the limits of word order variation, e.g., whether there
are structures in which the subject occurs after the verb
phrase; but very few mention whether the subject of a
subordinate sentence can be questioned.

Thus, it was

preordained that, no matter how many grammars I might have


100

consulted, the results of the survey do not contain an


swers for all of the phenomena I wished to survey.
The fact that theoretical questions like null subject
correlates are simply not the major concern of most au
thors writing grammars also had a positive side: there is
little confusion in the grammars over what constitutes a
null subject.

As the grammars are little encumbered by

theoretical controversy, the facts are presented in a


clear and unbiased manner.

This is not to say that I have

taken the reporting of the facts at face value; rather,


each reported fact conforms to the definitional criteria
discussed in the following subsection.
Given these reservations, the sample is as complete
as is currently possible, though more careful choosing of
grammars (not to mention the availability of better gram
mars) will undoubtedly lead to a more complete reporting
of the facts.

It would be surprising if a subsequent

resurvey contradicted the findings of this survey in a


major way, however, for where the results indicate a type
of language which has not been noted in previous work, the
results have been double-checked and verified against
native speaker intuitions.
I conclude this section with a genetic and bibliogra
phic listing of the languages which are included in the
survey.

101

Khoisan
Niger-Kordofanian

Nilo-Saharan
Afro-Asiatic

Caucasian
Indo-European

Uralic
Altaic
Paleosiberian
Eskimo-Aleut
Dravidian
Sino-Tibetan

Indo-Pacific

Nama Hottentot (Hagman 1977)


Babungo (Schaub 1985)
Bobangi (Whitehead 1964[1899])
Duka (Bendor-Samuel et al 1973)
Engenni (Thomas 1978)
Ewondo (Redden 1979)
Fula (Arnott 1970; GG fieldwork)
Gonja (Painter 1970)
Grebo (Innes 1966)
Izi (Meier et al 1975)
Kamba (Whiteley & Muli 1962)
Kpelle (Welmers 1971)
Luganda (Ashton et al 1951;
GG fieldwork)
Mwera (Harris 1950)
Noni (Hyman 1981)
Nupe (Smith 1967)
Shona (Fortune 1955)
Swahili (Vitale 1981; GG fieldwork)
Yoruba (Ogunbowale 1970;
Pulleyblank 1986)
Madi (Tucker 1940)
Sara-Ngambay (Thayer et al 1971)
Turkana (Dimmendaal 1983)
Classical Arabic (Mohammad p.c.)
Hausa (Smirnova 1982; Tuller 1982)
Middle Egyptian (Bakir 1984)
Somali (Bell 1969)
Tamazight (Penchoen 1973)
Georgian (Harris 1981)
Bhojpuri (Shukla 1981)
Icelandic (Fri^onsson 1978;
GG fieldwork)
Italian (Rizzi 1982,1986a)
Finnish (GG fieldwork)
Turkish (Underhill 1979; Eng p.c.)
Chukchi (Skorik 1961)
West Greenlandic (Fortescue 1984)
Malayalam (Mohanan 1983)
Angami (Giridhar 1980)
Burmese (Okell 1969)
Garo (Burling 1961)
Mandarin (Huang 1982,1984; Li p.c.)
Tibetan (Goldstein & Nornang 1970)
Daga (Murane 1974)
Dani (Bromley 1981)
Fore (Scott 1978)
Golin (Bunn 1974)
Hua (Haiman 1980)
Kewa (Franklin 1971)
Kobon (Davies 1981)

chart 4: genetic and bibliographic listing of languages


102

Indo-Pacific

Austric
Austro-Asiatic
Daic
Austronesian

Australian
Na-Dene
Amerind
Algic
Mosan
Iroquoian
Penutian
Hokan
Uto-Aztecan
Tanoan
Oto-Manguean
Chibchan-Paezan
macro Ge
macro Pano
macro Carib
Andean
Equatorial
Tucanoan

Nimboran (Anceaux 1965)


Olo (McGregor & McGregor 1982)
Rao (Stanhope 1980)
Siroi (Wells 1979)
Waskia (Ross & Paol 1978)
Yessan-Mayo (Foreman 1974)
Mundari (Sinha 1975)
Sre (Manley 1972)
Vietnamese (Nguyen 1975)
Thai (Campbell 1969)
Betawi Indonesian (Ikranagara 1980)
Big Nambas (Fox 1969)
Chamorro (Topping 1973;
Chung 1982b,1984,1987)
Iai (Tryon 1968)
Kwaio (Keesing 1985)
Lenakel (Lynch 1978)
Malagasy (Randriamasimanana 1986)
Manam (Lichtenberk 1983)
Murut (Prentice 1971)
Paamese (Crowley 1982)
Sakao (Guy 1974)
Sawu (Walker 1982)
Tagalog (Schachter & Otanes 1972)
Tigak (Beaumont 1979)
Tondano (Sneddon 1975)
Alyawarra (Yallop 1977)
Ngandi (Heath 1978)
Tiwi (Osborne 1974)
Navaho (Reichard 1974)
Blackfoot (Frantz 1971)
Heiltsuk (Rath 1981)
Cherokee (GG fieldwork)
Mam (England 1983)
Tolkapaya (Hardy 1979)
Papago (Saxton 1982)
Kiowa (Watkins 1984)
Mixteco (Alexander 1980)
Guaymzf (Alphonse 1956)
Warao (Vaquero 1965)
Canela-Kraho (Popjes & Popjes 1986)
Chorote (Gerzenstein 1978)
Hixkaryana (Derbyshire 1979)
Cochabamba Quechua (GG fieldwork)
Cocoma (Faust 1971)
Guarani (Canese 1983)
Yebamasa/Barasano (Garcia et al 1975)

chart 4: genetic and bibliographic listing of languages

103

isolates

American Sign Language (Lacy, p.c.;


Lillo-Martin 1984)
Basque (Perlmutter 1971;
Saltarelli p.c.)
Cape York Creole (Crowley & Rigsby
1979)
Caviteno (Whinnom 1956)
Papiamentu (GG fieldwork)
Sao Tome Creole (Ivens Ferraz 1978)

creoles

chart 4: genetic and bibliographic listing of languages


2.2.2

The constructions defined


As intimated above, the information which I gleaned

from a particular grammar at times either differed from


the conclusions of the author or constituted conclusions
which the author did not state unequivocally.

That is,

the basis of my decisions was principled rather than


subject to the whims (and inconsistencies) of each of my
sources.

In this section I make these criteria clear.

Since this survey purports to test various versions


of the Pro-drop parameter, it is essential that the
criteria used in identifying these phenomena reflect the
definitions used in these analyses.
has two problems.

This reasonable goal

In generative analyses of the Pro-drop

parameter, the goal has been to correlate as many phenome


na under a single analysis as is warranted.

Definitions,

where they are offered, are the result of a successful


analysis.

In most cases, however, the analysis is not

detailed enough to define a construction for the purposes


of cross-linguistic comparison; instead, the test is whe
ther the language in question is compatible with the

104

analysis.

The second difficulty is that there is nothing

explicit in any of the previous analyses which presumes


that the phenomena, much less their definitions, remain
consistent from one analysis to the next.
I will nevertheless assume that each of the phenomena
can be defined independently of the others, and that
generative analysts have addressed essentially the same
phenomena, such that Perlmutter's free extraction of
subordinate subjects equals Chomsky & Lasnik's that-t
filter violations.
2.2.2.1

Null thematic subjects

The recognition of the null subject as an empty


category (EC) distinct from the other ECs (PRO, WH-trace,
NP-trace) came about relatively late with respect to the
other ECs.

In fact, it occurred relative late with re

spect to the appearance of the first analyses of null


subjects.

At first (Perlmutter; Chomsky & Lasnik) a null

pronoun was understood to be the result of a deletion


rule; Taraldsen thought it an anaphor; and Rizzi's analy
sis actually ignored the issue of the null subject's
identity, instead concentrating upon the pronominal as
pects of INFL.

Jaeggli (1982) presented one of the few

analyses to tackle the question head on: for him, the null
subject was PRO by default, since the only alternative ECs
within his model were the traces of movement and a move
ment analysis for null, subjects is out of the question.

105

Only in Chomsky (1982) was the matter settled defini


tively.

Noting that all other ECs are defined by the

features [ianaphor, pronoun], Chomsky pondered the here


tofore unfilled combination in the paradigm and pronounced
the null subject an example of pro, the null pronoun.
(37)

+pronoun

-pronoun

+anaphor

PRO

NP-trace

-anaphor

pro

WH-trace

The choice was more than a formal convenience because the


syntactic and semantic behavior of pro actually parallels
that of overt pronouns in many ways, e.g., in most lan
guages pro alternates with overt pronouns without altering
the meaning of the sentence in any major way.

Chomskys

classification is now widely accepted (though cf. Safir


1985 for a different view).

I refer to pro as a null

thematic pronoun in the present work.


Given a null pronoun, there are any number of ways to
characterize it, though all essentially depend upon dis
tinguishing it from other ECs.

Note that the thematic

content of null thematic subjects does not help differen


tiate it because most ECs (with the exception of null
nonthematic subjects, discussed in the next subsection)
are theta-marked.
The functional approach (Chomsky 1982) begins with
the specification of an EC's pronominal features.

An EC

is [-pronoun] if it is locally bound by an element in a


9'-position, i.e., a position which is not assigned a theta
106

role.

Such an EC is further specified as [-anaphor] if

the local binder is in an A -position; if the local binder


is in an A-position, the EC is an [+anaphor].

The

remaining ECs are [+pronoun]: those which are ungoverned


receive the additional [+anaphor] feature and those
governed are [-anaphor].
There are two ways in which this classification must
be modified in order to be suitable for cross-linguistic
surveying, both of which provide for more positive identi
fication of null pronouns.

The first is a matter of null

binders of [-pronoun, -anaphor] ECs, i.e., variables bound


by null operators.

Clearly, where such a binder is not

visible and thereby ignored, these would be confused with


nul1 pronouns.
The appropriate language to discuss in this respect
is Mandarin, where Huang (1982,1984) has argued that null
objects which receive pronominal interpretation are ac
tually variables bound by null topics.

Huang argues that

true pronominal ECs can be differentiated from variable


ECs by the binding condition: pronouns obey condition B;
variables, condition C.

Null pronouns will also not obey

constraints such as subjacency which hold only of varia


bles.

Unfortunately, the data which this distinction

relies upon is missing from most grammars.


The second modification to the functional determina
tion of ECs concerns the difference between PRO, the null
subject of infinitives, and pro.

Given the PRO theorem,


107

which stipulates that PRO is restricted to ungoverned


domains, the two can be made distinct where there is
evidence of government (or the lack thereof).

Again, this

is a difficult if not impossible phenomenon to check for,


given the data at my disposal.
I therefore adopt the alternative characterization of
null pronouns in Rizzi (1986a): pronominal ECs must be
construed with agreement (AGR).

This captures a large

class of null pronouns in a way which can easily be


checked in many languages.

But it fails to cover null

pronominal subjects which Huang has argued do exist in


Mandarin, however.

Given the problems of the government

criterion and the fact that very few grammars contain


enough information to distinguish binding condition ef
fects, however, I must adopt the AGR restriction.
Practically speaking, this means that I have a priori
limited null subjects to languages with AGR, most likely
an undesirable state of affairs.

In the following survey,

therefore, a separate class of Mandarin-like languages,


i.e., languages without agreement yet which have pronominally interpreted empty subjects, has been encoded so that
it may be determined whether these languages behave gen
erally as NSLs or nonNSLs.

Note that since the criteria

which identify an EC as a null pronoun in Mandarin are


unlikely to be available in grammars, I have assumed that
Huang's analysis extends to other AGRless languages which
have null pronominally interpreted subjects.

Though this
108

extension has been independently motivated for a number of


other languages, it certainly is not without controversy.
If AGR is accepted as a condition on null subjects,
it is essential that AGR be defined.

At first glance,

this is a simple task, AGR intuitively being some depen


dent form which mirrors the features of a syntactic argu
ment (cf. Moravcsik 1978 for a more general definition).
In the Romance languages, the pronominal features of sub
jects are commonly encoded as AGR suffixes on verbs such
that there is a distinct AGR for each person-number combi
nation of the subject, as exemplified by the AGR endings
in the present tense conjugation of the Spanish verb stem,
cant- 1sing1.
(38)

yo
tu
el,ella
nosotros
vosotros
ellos,ellas

cant-o
cant-as
cant-a
cant-amos .
cant-Zis
cant-an

I
you
he,she
we
you
they

sing-ls
sing-2s
sing-3s
sing-lp
sing-2p
sing-3p

Confusion arises because not all dependent forms which


agree with a subject are morphological affixes.

Sometimes

AGR is a clitic, a possibility demonstrated by the fol


lowing conjugation of the verb stem magn- eat in the
northern Italian dialect Modenese (Safir 1985:229-230).
me
te
lo
le
nueter
vueter
lor
lor

a
ft
al
la
a
a
i
al

magn
magn
magna
magna
magnam
magne
magnen
magnen

I
you
he
she
we
you
they
they

Is eat
2s eat
3sm eat
3sf eat
lp eat
2p eat
3pm eat
3pf eat

109

Clitics demonstrate many characteristics which con


trast with the behavior of inflectional affixes, e.g.,
clitics may appear on more than one host and they may
appear on different sides of their hosts whereas affixes
are fixed both in choice of host and location.

(Cf. the

detailed study of differences in Zwicky 1977. )


There is little accord as to how best to capture the
differences between AGR morphology and clitics, and it is
not my intention to provide one here either.

What seems

clear is that both types of forms carry pronominal fea


tures and in so doing they may mirror the features of
subjects.

That is, both adhere to the definition adopted

above for AGR.


Equating the null subjects associated with clitics
and AGR does not seem to cause any theoretical confustion.
Though Borer (1984) treats clitics (but not AGR) as the
spell-out of Case features and Jaeggli (1986b) argues that
only clitics may optionally absorb Case, both agree that
the EC associated with a clitic is equivalent to null
thematic subjects as I have defined them, e.g., it re
ceives theta-marking and obeys binding condition B.

In

the survey, therefore, clitics and affixes will be treated


as two manifestations of AGR, and the clitic-affix dis6

tinction will henceforth be ignored because it resists an


adequate surface characterization.
There is also some confusion between what counts as
AGR and what is an independent form.

For example, a
110

superficial glance might lead one to conclude that English


has null subjects.

The sentence in (40) has one surface

form in which the auxiliary and the subject pronoun have


merged into a single phonological entity,
(40)

[w^dy] .

would you like to see a movie?

The confusion is removed in careful or slow speech varie


ties, however.

In these cases, there are two phonologi-

cally distinct forms: both may be stressed, for instance.


True AGR, as opposed to these fast speech clitics, is a
dependent form regardless of speech variety.
This is the surest way of making the distinction
between independent forms and AGR, though there are others
which are equally capable, even if not as general in
application.

The cooccurrence test is the most useful of

these: where the subject is marked twice in a nontopicalized sentence, one of the forms is sure to be AGR.

Yet

there are exceptions to this test, e.g., Irish, where the


distribution of subject pronouns and subject AGR is
strictly complementary, and so this test is useful only to
determine where is there is AGR rather than where there is
not.
The final method I have used in making the word-AGR
distinction is a matter of form.

Where there are two

'pronominal' forms for a subject, and one set of forms


cannot be related to the other through the phonological
rules governing fast speech, i.e., where one set is sup
pletive, I have assumed that the short forms are AGR.
Ill

Such an example is provided by Yoruba (Ogunbowale


1970:64).
(41)

short form
mo, ng
o
o
a
e
nwon

Is
2s
3s
lp
2p
3p

long form

&mi
1WQ

6un
awa
enyin
awon

The vowel similarities are clear in the case of the


2s,3s,lp,2p examples, even if the tones are off; the
relation between the two 3p forms is close for the most
part; the Is short forms are clearly not derived from the
long forms, however.
As a final note, it is necessary to discuss various
limits which have frequently been placed upon the study of
null subjects.

The first is that they occur primarily in

tensed sentences.

There is no necessary reason for this

restriction, though it has commonly been assumed because


of the many analyses which link Case with null pronouns
(e.g., Chomsky 1982, Jaeggli 1986b, Rizzi 1986a).

At any

rate, null subjects of tensed clauses are understood to be


the core case in the survey that follows.

I return to

this point with an alternative view in the following


chapter.
I further stipulate that three constructions which
may contain subject gaps will be ignored: null subjects of
coordinate sentences, elliptical sentences (e.g., compara
tive deletion) and answers to questions.

Behind this

exclusion are two reasons: the gaps created in each of


112

these environments may extend to more than subjects, many


times also eliminating verbs, objects, and adjunct
phrases; these gaps do not share the same distribution as
null subjects, either within or across languages.
2.2.2.2

Null nonthematic subjects

Since null nonthematic subjects are a subset of null


subjects, much of what was stated in the previous subsec
tion applies to this category of EC as well, especially
the caveats on tensed environment and the gaps of coordi
nation, ellipsis and answer sentences.

There are signifi

cant enough differences that it is useful to define them


independently, however.
The outstanding feature of these null subjects is
that they are not thematic and so cannot refer to any
entity or take the place of referential NPs.

This, not to

mention the fact that expletives therefore do not obey


binding condition B, makes their categorization as pro
nouns suspect, though it is nevertheless generally accep
ted.

Since the relevance of pronominal features to a

nonreferential element is not obvious, it is also ques


tionable whether the AGR constraint on null thematic pro
nouns is applicable.
of course.

This has occurred to other analysts,

Cf. Taraldsen's statement that nonthematic

pronouns require less rich AGR than null thematic pro%

nouns.

113

The limitations placed by GB analysts on null nonthe


matic subjects instead depend upon the extended projection
principle (EPP), which requires that all clauses have
subjects.

Where there is no thematic subject, it is

assumed that a nonthematic one exists instead.


In English, nonthematic subjects are consistently
lexical, and the EPP is obviously motivated.

In other

languages, e.g., Spanish, they are never lexical, and


little direct evidence points towards the EPP.

In fact,

one might analyze the Spanish counterpart to the English


example (42) as being a subjectless sentence.
(42)

there is a man in the garden

(43)

hay un hombre en el jardin

This is the line adopted in traditional grammars of


Spanish, which translate hay as 'there is' or 'there are'.
However, this proposal has two difficulties, one
theoretical and the other empirical.

First, in running

counter to the EPP, it rejects the positive benefits of


the EPP.

Besides explaining the obligatory lexicalization

(hence appearance) of nonthematic subjects in English, the


EPP also provides for a simple analysis of other phenome
na.

Because the EPP requires that the subject position

always be syntactically expanded, subject properties such


as control of PRO or a reflexive pronoun can be made
dependent upon the thematic nature of a subject.

Less

general alternatives are to provide for one analysis of


control by a lexical subject and another for a nonlexical
114

subject, or to deny that NPs are arguments and instead


claim that morphological affixes are syntactic controllers
in NSLs (Jelinek 1984).

This possibility has already been

examined and discarded (section 1.1).


The EPP does not only simplify the grammar of lan
guages in this way; it also provides another way in which
all languages are the same.

The EPP is therefore justi

fiable both in terms of analytical simplicity and crosslinguistic generalization.


On the more empirical side, it is a fact that in some
languages a lexical nonthematic subject alternates with a
null one.

In Classical Arabic, for example, these ele

ments are regularly null, except when the sentence con


taining them is subordinated under the accusative Caseassigning complementizer ?innu (Mohammad p.c.).
(44) a.

b.

0 yabduu
?anna ?al-?awlaad-a saafaruu
seem/PRES/3sm that DEF-boys-ACC traveled
'it seems that the boys traveled'
...?anna-hu
yabduu
?anna ?al?awlaada
that-CL^sm seem/3sm that boys
saafaruu
traveled
'...that it seems that the boys traveled'

An EPP-based account must only answer why the null subject


is lexical in (41b); analyses without the EPP must also
explain why only (41b) has a subject.

Cf. also the alter

nation of lexical and null nonthematic subjects in verbsecond languages like German or Icelandic, discussed in
greater detail in chapter five.

115

The method I will adopt in locating null nonthematic


subjects depends upon discovering sentences in which the
subject is null and nonthematic.
it sounds.

Were this as simple as

In languages which do not obviously encode the

subject, e.g., by Case-marking or strict word order, one


cannot easily determine whether an NP has assumed the
surface subject position.

Demonstration of the non

thematic quality of subjects may also be lacking in gram


matical descriptions.
In the following survey, I have therefore restricted
my search to sites where nonthematic subjects are known to
occur in the better-studied languages.

This list of sites

begins with those sentence types noted in Perlmutter


(1971), e.g., weather expressions, time expressions, subject-extraposition sentences, and impersonal passives (the
latter example of German from F. Mttller-Gotama).
(45) a. it is raining
b. It is late
c. it is evident that they didn't leave
d. es wurde getanzt
was
danced
'there was danced'
To this we may add the expletive subjects of existential
sentences and impersonal ergative sentences.
(46) a.
b.

there are three sisters in the garden


there crept into the room a grotesque figure

These nonthematic subjects were simply overlooked by


Perlmutter and have been included in all subsequent

116

analyses, even though they complicate the situation by


introducing a second nonthematic subject, there, to the
inventory of English.

The difference between there and it

is found cross-linguistically, e.g., in the Swahili exam


ples (47) where the subject of an existential subject is
not cross-referenced with agreement but the subject of an
extraposition is.
0 kuna kijana
chumba-ni
exist young man room-in
'there is a young man in the room'

(47) a.

b.

0 i-lithibitishwa
na Ahmed kwamba
nyoka
CLAS5-confirm-PASS by Ahmed that
dog
alimwuma
bit
'it was confirmed by A. that the dog bit him'

These differences are ignored for now, since they do not


alter the predictions of the Pro-drop analyses under con
sideration.

I return to this data in chapter five.

There is evidence that Perlmutter's original list


errs.

The subjects of weather and time expressions are

not obviously nonthematic, for in a small range of con


structions these subjects may
(48)

a. it

has tried PRO


i

b.

it

control PRO.
to rain all day

i
rained all day without PRO

snowing once
i

Since control is limited to thematic arguments, these


subjects must be thematic also, though Chomsky (1981) has
deemed them quasi-arguments because their range of ref
erence is restricted to the heavens, time, and other
inanimate agents.
117

It also seems very likely that at least some con


structions which are superficially similar to the extra
position example (45c) in fact have thematic subjects.
Evidence for this claim is provided by the exceptional
behavior of extrapositions in Hebrew and German.

Borer

(1984:216) reports that nonthematic subjects in Hebrew are


null except in the following construction.
(49)

ze margiz 'oti se-Itamar


tamid
m e 'axer
annoy me
that-Itamar always late
'it annoys me that Itamar is always late'

Similar sentences supplied by Berman (1980:767,fn.10) make


it clear that ze is not a dummy place-marker, however.
(50)

ze e
hu kolkax satum margiz oti
that he so
dumb annoy me
'it annoys me that he is so dumb'

Rather, ze is part of an external thematic argument, much


like the object it found in factive complements in
English.
(51)

I regret it that she is so late

In German, a similar generalization is evidenced: though


other nonthematic subjects are null when not sentenceinitial, subjects of impersonal transitives and adjectival
extrapositions are optionally lexical in these contexts
(Haiman 1974:106-8).
(52) a.

b.

es ekelt
mir
vor
dir
it disgust me/DAT before you
'you make me sick'
mir ekelt ('s) vor dir

118

(53) a.

b.

es w&re am besten, heimzugehen


it would be best
to go home
fit would be best to go home1
jetzt w&re (es) am besten, heimzugehen
now
would it be best
to go home
'now it would be best to go home'

For this reason, no language has been classified at having


null nonthematic subjects on the basis of extraposition
sentences alone.
Also excluded from this list is at least one other
site that some analysts have supposed that an expletive
element occurs as well, i.e., subject inversion
constructions.
(54)

0 contest-o
la pregunta Juan
answer-PRET/3s the question J
'Juan answered the question'

It would be self-defeating (or self-serving, depending


upon one's stance) to count such a sentence as an example
of a null nonthematic subject, even though the EPP-required preverbal subject position appears empty in (54).
After all, this survey is undertaken partly to decide
whether the null nonthematic subject-subject inversion
correlation is correct.
Compiling this list hardly guarantees the discovery
of nonthematic subjects in all languages.

A list of

sentence-types involving these elements in the IndoEuropean languages has no significance for other languages, of
course.

The list does, however, provide a good starting

point for the other tests noted before, i.e., whether a


null subject is demonstrably empty and nonthematic.
119

2.2.2.3

Subject inversion constructions

Not only is the definition of subject inversion less


developed than that of null subjects, but there is also
some question as to the proper analysis of these construc
tions.

Some propose a movement derivation while others

opt for a base-generated approach.

Neither side has defi

nitively proven its point, but this is no obstacle to a


survey which aims to test for the cross-linguistic distri
bution of the construction.

To satisfy this end, one need

not provide a superior analysis; rather, it suffices to


simply define the limits of the construction.

As with the

case of null subjects, the procedure is to offer a general


characterization of subject inversions and refine the
definition of the construction negatively.
Intuitively, "subject inversion" might describe any
clause in which the subject follows the verb, though the
range of constructions it is generally applied to is more
restricted.

In studies of null pronoun phenomena, subject

inversions (SI) are those sentences in which the subject


follows the entire verb phrase, e.g., (54), repeated be
low.
(54)

contest-o
a la pregunta Juan
answer-PRET/3s
the question J
'Juan answered the question'

This immediately provides a criterion by which to differ


entiate it from two other constructions in which the
subject follows its verb: inversions of the subject and
verb (or tensed auxiliary, in the case of English subject120

auxiliary inversion); and postverbal ergative 'subjects'.


SI is easily distinguished from subject-verb inver
sion, at least in transitive sentences.

In these con

texts, the subject of SI follows both the verb and its


objects, per (54); in the case of subject-verb inversion,
which in many languages is triggered in yes-no questions,
the subject follows the verb but precedes the verbal
obj ect.
(55)

contesto Juan a la pregunta?


answer
J
the question
'did Juan answer the question?'

Torrego (1984) lists other properties which serve to


distinguish these constructions in Spanish: SI applies
freely while subject-verb inversion is obligatory in cer
tain contexts and impossible elsewhere; SI is compatible
with sentence-initial adverbs while subject-verb inversion
is not; and in verbal sequences of more than one verb, the
subject follows both in SI but only the first in subjectverb inversion.
The contrast between Spanish and English provides yet
another reason for distinguishing the two constructions.
Inversion of subject and auxiliary in English commonly
yields a postverbal subject in English, but the construc
tion with a subject following both the verb and its direct
object does not exist.
(56) a.

did John answer the question?

b. *answered the question John

121

Thus, it is very likely that the two constructions are


distinct.
There do exist the apparently exceptional inversions
cited in Green (1980), where a nominative NP follows its
verb.
(57) a.

outside stood a little angel

b.

sitting down is Kevin Jones

c.

next came the middle-sized Billy

d.

there crept into the room a grotesque

Goat Gruff
figure

In each of these examples, however, the verb must be a


locative or motion verb.

In many if not all languages,

verbs of these types, commonly called ergative or unac


cusative verbs, may occur with postVerbal NPs which have
some subject-like properties, e.g., nominative Case.
It is standardly argued that these constructions
differ from SI in that the subject' of an ergative verb
is actually a verbal object, whereas a subject inverted by
SI is situated outside of the verb phrase.

(Cf. Belletti

& Rizzi 1981 for a particularly convincing demonstration


of this difference.)

Since the ergative subject never

follows a verbal object, the reliance upon transitive


sentences distinguishes this construction from SI.
The insistence that in true SI the subject follow
both the verb and its object is still not enough in cer
tain cases, e.g., OVS orders in verb-second languages.

In

the standard generative analysis of these sentences, it is


argued that the tensed verb has moved to sentence-second
122

position and the object has been topicalized.

(Old French

example is from Kibler 1984:5.)


(58)

sa preude fame enhai il


his good
wife hated he
'he hated his good wife'

Note also the same order in English object questions,


where the WH-object fronts and the subject and auxiliary
invert.
(59)

who did Heather beat?

These constructions differ from SI in the respect that


the verb and its object do not prepose in SI; inverted
(OVS) orders are impossible in verb-second languages and
English unless these constituents become fronted while the
subject remains in situ.

In particular, this means that

the definition of SI must be amended to ignore topicalized


objects.

Topicalizations generally depart from basic word

orders, are often marked with affixes to indicate their


status, and are generally noted as such in grammatical
descriptions.
Zubizarreta (1982) has pointed out that an inverted
subject in European Portuguese is obligatorily focused
(though cf. Mateus, et al 1983:317-8, where it is claimed
that subjects of transitives never invert).

Focus is not

a part of the rule of SI as it operates in Spanish, so one


might deny that this is SI.

But Contreras (1976) has

argued that SI in Spanish implies that the inverted sub


ject is old information.

The criteria I have established

for SI are syntactic, however; there being no evidence


123

that the EP inversions discussed by Zubizarreta are de


rived by movement of the VP, for instance, it must be
concluded that SI does indeed exist in EP.
Another problematic matter is those languages with
free word order.

In some of these languages, e.g., Japa

nese, the question of SI does not arise because the scram


bling never places the subject in the postverbal position,
but in other languages, e.g., Russian, certain word or
ders, especially (60bc), superficially place the subject
to the right of elements of the VP, and are very similar
to SI (Comrie 1981:71-72).
(60) a.

Tanja ubi-l-a
Mas-u
T
kill-PST-3s M-ACC
'Tanya killed Masha'

b.

Maiu ubila Tanj a

c.

ubila MaSu Tanj a

d.

ubila Tanja Masu

e . Ma^u Tanja ubila


f.

Tanja Masu ubila

Again, though the inverted subject in (60bc) is old infor


mation, without evidence that (60bc) involves verb and
object preposing, it must be concluded that Russian has
SI.
I further stipulate that three constructions in addi
tion to subject-auxiliary inversions, ergative sentences,
and object-topicalizations are excluded from the survey:
right dislocations of the subject, equational sentences,
and sentences reporting direct speech.

Right dislocations
124

are ignored because the dislocated subject does not fall


within the intonational contour of the sentence; besides,
right dislocations occur in all languages, unlike SI.
During the course of the survey, it was noted that the
other two constructions quite commonly exhibit inverted
subjects, even in languages which otherwise lack SI.

This

anomolous behavior, for which I offer no solution, has


thus led to their exclusion.
2.2.2.4

that-trace filter violations

As with the previous definitions, there are certain


aspects of that-t filter violations which I will sidestep:
in particular, the controversy surrounding the exact site
of this extraction.

This problem simply does not enter

into the definition required for the survey.


There are fewer pretenders to this construction, and
so the task of defining subordinate subject extractions is
an easier task than that encountered in the previous
section.

In general, the construction named in the title

of this section refers to surface WH-extractions of the


subject from a tensed clause with an overt complementizer.
(61)

que

piens-as
i

que

vend-ra
i

who think-PRES/2s that


come-FUT/3s
'who do you think that will come?'
This property Spanish shares with many other NSLs (cf.
chart 2 in subsection 2.1).

125

By contrast, extractions of this sort are not found


in languages like English and French, as noted by
Perlmutter, his examples from section 2.1 repeated below.
(62) a. *who

did he say that e


i

fainted?
i

b. *que

a-t-il dit que e s est evanoui?


i
i
It is, however, possible to extract the subordinate sub
jects in these sentences if an adjustment is made to their
respective complementizers: in English, that must be de
leted; for most but not all French speakers, it suffices
to change que to qui.
(63) a.

who
i

b.

que

i
These rules are

did he say e fainted?


i
a-t-il dit qui e s'est evanoui?
i
restricted to complementizers governedby

nonfactive verbs and it is

not possible

under

anycondi

tions to extract the subject of a sentence subordinate to


a factive verb.
(64) a. *who

do you regret that e

fainted?
i
b. *who do you regret e fainted?
i
i
^
(65) a. *qui regrettes-tu que e s'est evanoui?
i
i
b. *qui regrettes-tu qui e s'est evanoui?
i
i
Any language which modifies the complementizer and re
i

strict the extractions to complements of particular matrix


verbs will therefore be classified as lacking that-t fil
ter violations.
This definition requires one additional caveat.
European Portuguese (Zubizarreta 1982), like English and
French, allows subject-extraction from the complements of
126

nonfactive verbs,

(66a), but not factive verbs,

(66b),

even though there is no overt complementizer rule in


European Portuguese.
(66) a.

que

rapazes

acredita-s

que

i
what child
believe-PRES/2s that
tenha-m
gasto
esse dinheiro
have-PRES/3p spend/PTCL that money
which children do you believe that spent
that money?
b. *quem

preocup-a+te
i

ter-em

gasto

who

worry-PRES/3s+2sCL
have/INF-3p spend
esse dinheiro
that money
who does it worry you that have spent the
money

Given the similar constraint on matrix verbs, she argued


that a string-vacuous rule, parallel to those found
overtly in French and English, operates upon the comple
mentizer in EP.

Without commenting upon the complementi

zer rule in EP, I conclude that neither an overt comple


mentizer-changing rule nor the restriction of subjectextractions to complements of certain matrix verbs is
characteristic of a language with that-t filter
violations.
2.2.2.5

Summary

The following definitions will be assumed in the


following survey, per the arguments in this section.

127

Null subjects: phonologically null pronominal thematic


subjects
a) null subjects are empty categories, i.e., gaps in
sites which are predicted by the Extended
Projection Principle;
b)

null subjects are theta-marked;

c)

null subjects are gaps independent of local A binder or local A-binder;

d) null subjects must be construed with AGR;


AGR is a dependent form which mirrors the
pronominal features of a syntactic argument;
AGR may be clitics or affixes;
AGR may be distinguished from independent forms
by the slow speech test, the cooccurrence
test, or the suppletion test
e)

null subjects obey only B among the binding condi


tions; null subjects do not obey subjacency or
other constraints on variables;

f) null subjects are defined independently of the


gaps found in coordinate structures, elliptical
sentences, and answers to questions;
g) null subjects minimally occur in tensed sentences
Null nonthematic subjects: phonologically null nonthematic
subj ects
a) null nonthematic subjects are empty categories,
i.e.,gaps in sites which
are predicted by the
EPP;
b)

null nonthematic subjects are nonthematic;

c)

null nonthematic subjects are gaps independent of


local A -binder or local A-binder;

d) cf. the following common sites of null nonthematic


subjects:
1) extraposition sentences
2) existential sentences
3) impersonal passives and impersonal ergatives;

128

e) null nonthematic subjects are defined independent


ly of subject inversion sentences
Subject Inversion: a sentential order in which the subject
follows the verb and its object(s)
a) an inverted subject must appear to the right of
the verb and its arguments;
b) subject inversion is free and never obligatory;
c) subject inversion occurs independently of any
object-fronting rule, e.g., object-topicalization
or VP-fronting;
d) subject inversion is defined independently of the
orders found in right dislocations, equational
sentences, or sentences which report direct speech
That-t filter violations: WH-extractions of the subject
from a subordinate clause
a) the WH-movement must occur at the surface, i.e.,
the WH-subject must be moved outside of its clause
to some position on the periphery of the highest
clause;
b) the subordinate clause must have an overt comple
mentizer, e.g., that;
c) extraction must not be restricted to particular
matrix verbs, i.e., nonfactives, or to particular
complementizers

2.3

Outcome of the survey


In this section I report the results of the survey,

and discuss them with the goal of determining whether


these results are in any way compatible with any of the
hypotheses of null subject phenomena.

129

2.3.1

The raw results


The results of this survey have been attained by

applying the definitions developed in section 2.2.2 (and


summarized on the last two pages of that section) to the
languages listed in chart 3 of section 2.2.1.

The three

possible entries which are found in the survey chart are


imeant to be rather straightforward.

Precisely, they stand

for the following:


|
l

if the appropriate conditions are met and something


satisfies the requirements for a particular phenome
non in a particular language, the entry is yes;
if the appropriate conditions are met but nothing
matching the definition for a particular phenomenon
is found in a particular language, the entry is no;

if the appropriate conditions are not met or the data


is inconclusive, the entry is ND;

if the entry is yes or no, note peculiarities, espe


cially distributional restrictions on the phenomenon

|
For ease of exposition, I have adopted the following list
;of abbreviations, which will be used throughout the re
mainder of this chapter.
i

!
I

pro:

null thematic subject

EXE:

null nonthematic subject

SI:

subject inversion

THAT: that-t filter violations


As noted in section 2.1.1, the selection of languages
for this survey was tempered by the desire to take a
representative member of each family, especially in those
instances in which only a single member of a family is
i

'

130

Alyawarra
American Sign Lg.
Angami
Arabic (Classical)
Babungo
Basque
Bhojpuri
Big Nambas
Blackfoot
Bobangi
Burmese
Canela-Kraho
Cape York Creole
Caviteno
Chamorro
Cherokee
Chorote
Chukchi
Cocama
Daga
Dani
Duka
Egyptian (Middle)
Engenni
Ewondo
Finnish
Fore
Fula
Garo
Georgian
Golin
Gonj a
Grebo
Guarani
Guaymi
Hausa
Heiltsuk
Hixkaryana
Hua
Iai
Icelandic
Indonesian (Betawi)
Italian
Izi
Kamba
Kewa

pro

EXE

SI

no( 1)
yes
no( 1)
yes(2)
no
yes
yes
yes
yes
yes
no (1)
yes
no
no( 1)
yes
yes
yes
yes
yes
yes
yes
no
yes
no
yes
yes
yes
yes
no( 1)
yes
yes
yes
yes
yes
no
yes
yes
yes
yes
yes
no
no( 1)
yes
yes
yes
yes

ND
yes
ND
yes(2)
yes
yes
ND
ND
yes
yes
yes
ND
yes
yes
yes
ND
yes
ND
ND
ND
ND
yes
yes
ND
ND
yes
ND
yes
yes
yes
ND
ND
ND
ND
yes
yes
ND
ND
yes
ND
yes(3)
yes
yes
ND
ND
ND

yes
no
no
yes(2)
yes
no
no
ND
yes
no
no
no
no
yes
yes
yes
no
yes
yes
no
no
no
no
no
no
no
no
no
yes
no
yes
ND
no
yes
no
yes
no
yes
no
no
yes(4)
no
yes
no
ND
no

THAT
ND
ND
ND
no
ND
yes
ND
ND
ND
ND
ND
ND
ND
ND
yes
ND
ND
ND
ND
ND
ND
ND
ND
ND
ND
no
ND
ND
ND
no
ND
ND
ND
ND
ND
yes
ND
ND
ND
ND
yes
ND
yes
ND
ND
ND

chart 5: survey of the null subject phenomena correlations

131

Eh
<

CQ
( D O P P P P P P P P P P P P P P P P P P P

P P P P P P P P P P P P P P P P P P P P P P P P P

Eh

CQ

CQ CQ CQ

CQ CQ CQ

CQ

O O O O O 0 O 0 0 0 O O O O 0 0 0 O

QOOOO

> i G > i > i > i g g g g > i > i > i G ' > i :z ; g g g g

CQ
CQ
CQ
CQ CQ
CQ
CQ
( l ) 0 0 0 0 0 0 ( P 0 0 ( D 0 f l ) ( D 0 0 0 0 ( P 0 0 ( D

>i g g g g g g > i g g >i G > i >i G g g g >i g g > i

CQ
C
o
H
-P
(0
rH
0
P

p
0

o
0

0
6
O

G
w

X
w

p p p p

CQ (Q
(D C D P P P P P

CQ CQ
CQ
( D P (D (D P P P P P P P P P P

CQ
C D P P P P P P P

CQ
(DPP

0
CQ CQ CQ CQ
CQ CQ
(D(D<D(DPPPP(D<D

i>i2 2 2 2 2 2 2 2 2 2 > 1 2 2 2 2 2 2 2 >i22 >i >i >i >i2 2 2 2 >i >1


2 2 2 2 >i>i2 2 2 2 2 >i2 >

Xl

-p
o

0
X)

CQ CQ CQ CQ CQ CQ CQ w w CQ CQ w CQ CQ w
(D(D<D(D(D(D(DOO(D(DO(D(DO

>i >i >i >i >i >i >i G G >i >i G

>1 > 1

CQCQCQCQCQCQCQCQCQCQ
(D(D(D(D(D<D(D(D(D(D

CQ CQ CQ CQ CQ CQ CQ
(D (D (D (D (D (D (D

CQ

ii
CQ w CQ CQ CQ CQ CQ CQ

0 0 0 O 0 0 0 0 0 0
>1 G >i G >1 >1 >1 >1 >1 >1

CQ
r 1
pH

G
0
X!

(0

JD

m
o

g
(0

H 0
0
0 T3
0 G rH O X G
15 O rH ' H 0 0 H
0 X 0 0 G D>,0

>i 0
CQ r1
0 0

& >1

0 0
H H

(D
rI

(0

O
0
3
u
-p w
G

H O "H
P O P
g 0 0 0 -P
0 T3 -P *0 3
C C X C P

g
h o a 0 g 0 0 0 0 0 0 -H 3 3
X X X X P P 2

(0

(D 0

0-H P

X ^3 0
(0 (0 C -H (D

g > (o e c a o
(0 (0 OVH 0

OE3
CQ (0
(0-h o
a a a)

>i

>

>i
U !

(D
P (0

3
cq

-P

& &

\0 co
g cq

O2
0 Eh I
(0

(0

0 -H

rI N

(0
>1
c

(0

00

a c

(0 (0
+> X
(0 0
(D 0 CQ g (0 X 0> H G P
P (0 (0 X! -H -H -H 0 0 3

H 0 0 -H ^ TJ^

B (0 D 0 0 KO 0 0 ,G
2OPUPUPUOiC0QC/)0Q0QC/30Q0Q0QC/) Eh Eh Eh Eh Eh Eh Eh Eh Eh

in

-p
p

0
X
o

CM
CD

Turkish
Vietnamese
Warao
Waskia
West Greenlandic
Yebamasa
Yessan-Mayo
Yoruba
(1):
(2):
(3):
(4):

pro

EXE

SI

yes
no( 1)
no
yes
yes
no
no( 1)
yes

yes
yes
ND
ND
ND
ND
ND
yes

no
no
no
no
no
yes
no
no

THAT
ND
ND
ND
ND
ND
ND
ND
yes

null pronoun without AGR


main clauses only
except in main clause sentenc-initial position
inverted subject must be indefinite

chart 5: survey of the null subject phenomena correlations


included in the survey.

It was therefore deemed necessary

to sample more than one language from these small language


families.

In the case of Mixteco, this cross-checking

also led to a change in the initial entries.


At first, Mixteco was listed as a language without
null subjects because recent grammarians (e.g., Alexander
1980), in adhering to Pikes (1944) claim that morphology
and syntax need not be distinguished for this language
(and perhaps all others), have for the most part ignored
the question of whether certain particles carrying pro
nominal specifications for the subject are full pronouns,
clitics, or affixes.

When the related languages Chatino

(Pride 1965) and Chinantec (Merrifield 1968) were surveyed


and found to have null subjects, I decided to pursue the
situation in Mixteco, rather than include both types.
In a recent article, Macauley (1987) takes a critical
look at Pike's original article and soundly rejects his
133

hypothesis that each dependent surface form of one


syllable is derived from an independent deep form of two
syllables.

Following Zwicky (1977), Macauley differen

tiates fast speech clitics, phrasal affixes and bound


words, and then argues that certain Mixteco subject parti
cles are phrasal affixes: they do not appear in a twosyllable form in slow speech and some are suppletive, so
they are not fast speech clitics; and their range of
possible hosts is outside the behavior of affixes.
These arguments are impressive, but there is a
serious inconsistency in the survey if the entries for
some languages are based solely upon the criteria de
veloped in section 2.1.2 while other languages entries
are allowed to access in depth argumentation.

Fortunate

ly, this quandry is avoided because Macauley (p.122) also


included data which provides the desired information
without recourse to in depth argumentation, i.e., the
following cooccurrence of full subject pronouns and sub
ject agreement forms.
(67) a.

ru?u ni-zee-ri
I
PRF-eat-ls
'I ate'

b. *ni-zee ru?u
.
s v
c. * n - m - z e e
Since subject arguments never occur twice in a single
sentence, one of the forms in (67) must be agreement.

It

134

suffices to say that such evidence is missing from both


Pike's and Alexander's descriptions of Mixteco.
This example is by far the exception, all other
entries for all other languages reflecting my initial
efforts, though many of these results were rechecked and
cross-checked.
2.3.2

Discussion
The facts of chart 5 are restated in the following

table.
yes-yes yes-no
pro-EXE
pro-SI
pro-THAT
EXE-SI
EXE-THAT
SI-THAT

24
22
5
14
7
4

0
49
3
25
2
0

no-yes
15
11
2
1
0
3

no-no

ND

2
15
1
1
1
4

61
4
89
61
90
89

These figures do not apparently correspond to the results


reported in chart 5 in certain cases where they have been
modified in order to make a fair comparison.

For in

stance, the fact that Classical Arabic has null thematic


and nonthematic subjects, but only in certain contexts,
creates a doublet: both appear (yes-yes) in main clauses,
and neither appears (no-no) in indicative subordinate
clauses.

Because of the presence of doublets like this,

the numbers in various columns across sometimes adds up to


more than one hundred.
In addition, the fact that Classical Arabic has obli
gatorily lexical nonthematic subjects in indicative

135

subordinate clauses means that the combination, EXE:yes(2)


and THAT:no, counts as no-no because the survey is meant
to reflect the cooccurrence of items in the same contexts.
EXE:yes(2) encodes the fact that null nonthematic subjects
are restricted to main clauses; the site of extraction is
a subordinate context.

All such situations in chart 5 are

resolved in (68).
2.3.2.1

Null thematic and nonthematic subjects

Both the Taraldsen and Rizzi hypotheses argued that a


null nonthematic subject should be possible whenever a
null thematic subject is because the thematic variety
requires not only the property which underlies the non
thematic subject but something more.
implication is pro --> EXE.

Stated formally, the

This predicts three types of

languages; indeed, three types are found.


(69)

EXE
yes

yes
24

no
0

[15

pro
no

61 combinations involving ND
2 doublets: Classical Arabic
Icelandic
102 total
The large number in two of the cells makes them
reasonably secure.

But the low number of languages in the

pro:no-EXE:no cell is a potential site for reanalysis.


Should the two examples reported in this survey (Classical
Arabic subordinate clauses and Icelandic main clauses)
prove to be only apparent counterexamples it might be
136

possible to make a stronger biconditional statement.


However, since the no-no type is well-documented with
languages outside my sample, e.g., Dutch B, English,
French, Norwegian and Swedish, such an attempt seems illfated.
Thus, the conclusion which seems best supported is
the one immediately apparent from (69), i.e., the fol
lowing implicational statement, in prose and formal nota
tion.
(70) a.

b.
2.3.2.2

if a language has null thematic subjects in a


particular environment, then it also has null
nonthematic subjects in that environment
pro --> EXE
the EXE-SI correlation and Icelandic

Perhaps the correlation most central to Rizzis


analysis is that between null nonthematic subjects and
subject inversion: for him, the relation between the two
is the biconditional, EXE <--> SI.

At first glance,

however, the data on this correlation from my survey


admits no gaps and therefore no implicational relation at
all.
(71)

SI
yes

yes
14

no
25

EXE
no

1
61 combinations involving ND
2 doublets: Classical Arabic
Icelandic
102 total

137

If an implicational relation does exist between these


phenomena, then at least one empty cell must be hidden by
superficial interference.

The EXE:No-SI:no cell, though

filled by only one language in my sample, is where English


and the core nonNSLs belong, so reanalysis of this type
would not seem likely.
In the EXE:no-SI:yes cell, the single representative
is Icelandic.

The case for lexical nonthematic subjects

in Icelandic is we11-documented and cannot be seriously


doubted: null nonthematic subjects in Icelandic are lexi
cal only when they fill the initial position of matrix
clauses; in noninitial and nonmatrix contexts, they are
null (Platzack 1987:378).
(72) a.

f>a^
munu kaupa ^essa bok margir studentar
there will buy
this
book many
students
'many students will buy this book'

b.

l dag hafa.(*/a^) komi% margir malvisindamenn


today have there come
many
linguists
hinga&
here
'today there have arrived many linguists'

Subject inversion in Icelandic is definitely a more ques


tionable phenomenon.

In (72a), for example, it is true

that the inverted subject satisfies the tests for SI as


they were defined in section 2.2: the subject follows both
the verb and its object and only the subject appears to
have moved; it is not obligatory (cf. the example below);
and this is not a right dislocation, an equational sen
tence or one reporting speech.

138

(73)

margir studentar munu kaupa ^essa bok


many
students will buy
this book
many students will buy this book*

Besides, classification of (73) as SI suits Platzack, who


claims that it occurs in Icelandic because the language is
specified positively for the Pro-drop parameter.

Note

that if Platzack is correct, however, his correlation of


SI and null nonthematic subjects must be the implication
EXE --> SI, because Icelandic SI occurs both in clauses
where the nonthematic subject is lexical, as in (72a), and
where it is null, as in (74b) from Maling 1980:184).
(74) a.

b.

^etta er bae-rinn, fiar sem margir fraegir


this^ is town-DEF where
many
famous
Islendingar eru faeddir
Icelanders are born
this is the town where many famous
Icelanders are born
/&etta er bae-rinn, /ar sem faeddir eru margir
this is town-DEF where
born
are many
fraeg-ustu menn ^jo^arin-nar
famous-SPR men of nation-DEF
this is the town where many of the most
famous men of the nation are born

Note that this implication is at odds with both the strong


EXE <--> SI relation posited by Rizzi et al, as well as
the weaker SI --> EXE favored by Safir.
Given that Icelandic SI places Platzack at odds with
every other investigator of the Pro-drop Parameter, plus
the uniquely exceptional restriction that the inverted
subject of Icelandic SI be indefinite, it might be con
cluded that an alternative analysis of these constructions
is in order.

My inquiry into this matter ends here,

however.
139

Even if Icelandic SI was reanalyzed as something


else, the biconditional relation between EXE and SI that
Rizzi proposed should still be reflected by not only a
EXE:no-SI:yes gap but also by a EXE:yes-SI:no gap.

Yet

this cell, in my sample, is instead filled by a robust


number.

These counterexamples to the Rizzi hypothesis

cover many different types of languages: creoles (Cape


York Creole, Papiamentu); rigid SOV languages (Basque,
Burmese, Hua, Turkish); a number of consistently headinitial languages (Fula, Thai, Vietnamese, Yoruba) and
fifteen others scattered over the earth's surface.

In

fact, in my sample these so-called counterexamples outnum


ber those which adhere to the supposed correlation.
If a biconditional relation does exist, the best hope
would rather appear to depend upon a reanalysis of the
single representative of the EXE:no-SI:no type: Levantine
Arabic subordinate clauses.

This type, as I noted above,

finds ample support in Dutch B, English, French, Norwe


gian, and Swedish.

Thus, I suggest that only the fol

lowing statistical statement is supportable.


(75) a.

b.
2.3.2.3

if a language has subject inversion in a


particular environment, then it also is likely
to have null nonthematic subjects in that
environement
SI --> EXE (statistical)
Subject inversion and that-t filter violations

My survey yields the following meager data on this


correlation.
140

(76)

THAT
yes
no
4
0

yes
SI
no

4
89 combinations involving ND
100 total

On the surface, again we have an implicational statement,


not the biconditional one Rizzifs analysis predicts, for
if Rizzifs SI <--> THAT correlation were correct, we
should find two empty cells: SI:no-THAT:yes and SI:yesTHAT:n o .
This would still be possible, of course, if the three
SI:no-THAT:yeslanguages

(Basque, Papiamentu, and Yoruba)

could be reanalyzed as yes-yes or no-no types, but this


seems highly unlikely.

Basque was part of Perlmutter's

original pro-THAT correlation and is a rigid SOV language.


Papiamentu also appears resistant to counteranalysis:
inversion is never acceptable and subordinate subject
extractions always are.

(Extraction examples from Schro-

ten 1983:283.)
(77)

a. Maria a
disparse
M
PRF disappear
'Mary disappeared'
b. *a disparse Maria

(78)

a. ken

bo

kere

ku

e a
bini
i
who you think that
PRF come
'who do you think that had come?'
i

b.

homber

ku
i

taevidente ku

bini
i

the man
that PROG evident that
PRF come
'the man that it is evident that had come'

141

In the absence of any counteranalysis, I propose the


following implicational relation instead.
(79) a.

if a language has subject inversion in subordi


nate environments, then it also has that-t
filter violations

b.

SI > THAT

Note that this statement is not incompatible with Rizzi's


hypothesis that SI feeds apparent that-t filter viola
tions.

It does, though, point to the likelihood of some

other source for that-t filter violations in the no-yes


languages.
2.3.2.4

EXE and THAT

In the discussion of section 2.1, Taraldsen's hypo


thesis differed from Rizzi's on how that-t filter viola
tions were related to the other phenomena. Their
predictions on this point are identical, however.

Rizzi's

SI <--> THAT correlation, combined with his EXE <--> SI,


is logically equivalent to Taraldsen's more direct
EXE < > THAT.
Such points of view predict only two types of lan
guage, but this is not apparent from the (again meager)
results of my survey.
(80)
yes
no

THAT
no
yes
2
7
0

1
90 combinations involving ND
100 total

142

Instead, the surface view yields only an implication.

But

the method I have adopted calls for a closer inspection of


the less documented cells.
The EXE:no-THAT:no cell is represented only by Clas
sical Arabic subordinate clauses in this sample, but the
fact that it is well documented in analyses of better
studied languages like French and English would seem to
place it beyond reproach.

Besides, the supposed correla

tion predicts that this cell (along with the yes-yes cell)
should be filled.
The yes-no type, exemplified by Finnish and Georgian
in my survey, must therefore be the focus of any attempted
reanalysis.

The facts seem clearcut, however.

Although

Finnish allows the extraction of subordinate objects,


extraction of the subject from a clause headed by a com
plementizer is ungrammatical.
(81)

a. Mari kuuli ett& Pekka kirjoittaa kirjeen


M
hear
that P
write
letter
'Mary heard that Pekka is writing the letter'
b.

mita Mari kuuli ettS Pekka kirjoittaa e


i
i
what
'what did Mari hear that Pekka is writing?'

c.

*kuka Mari kuuli ettS e kirjoittaa kirjeen


i
i
who
'who did Mary hear that is writing the letter?'

Furthermore, nonthematic subjects, e.g., the subject of an


impersonal passive, in Finnish are always null.
(82)

a. Mari kuuli ettS Pekka oli hullu


M
hear
that P
be crazy
'Mary heard that Pekka was crazy'
143

(82) b.

0 kuul-tiin ettS Pekka oli hullu


hear-IPSL
'it was heard that Pekka was crazy'

c.

*ett& Pekka oli hullu kuultiin

Again, the conclusion must be that the relationship


is not so direct as was predicted by the generative analy
sis.

Instead, there is only an implicational relation.

(83) a.

b.
2.3.2.5

if a language has that-t filter violations,


then it will also have null expletives in
subordinate contexts
THAT --> EXE
Other correlations

Though the four correlations discussed above are the


only ones in which the generative analyses predict an
implicational or biconditional relation, there are two
others which can be tested against the results of my
survey: pro-SI and pro-THAT.

In both cases, the genera

tive analyses predict no empty cells whatsoever.


(84)
pro

SI
yes
no
yes \ 22
49
\
no
11 15 \
4 combination involving ND
1 doublet: Classical Arabic
101 total

The weak link here is the pro:no-SI:yes cell, which has


only nine counterexamples.

Of these nine, six are

pro:no(l) types, which means that they do not have null


thematic subjects if agreement is a requirement but do
have null subjects if Huang's analysis of Mandarin is

144

correct.

Note, however, that even if we accept Huangs

arguments and shift these seven from the no-yes cell to


the yes-yes cell (as well as the nine pro:no(1 )-SI:no
types to the yes-no cell), no cells are vacated.
(85)
yes

SI
yes
no
28
58

pro
no

Though the numbers in both the no-yes and no-no cells are
rather small, the types can be well-documented.

Among the

no-no types in my sample are Classical Arabic subordinate


clauses, Cape York Creole, Engenni, Guaymi, Papiamentu,
and Warao; this type is also exemplified by English,
French, and a flurry of well-studied Germanic languages.
The only examples of the no-yes type are Babungo,
Duka, Icelandic, Tagalog, and Yebamasa (exemplified be
low).

The data in each case is clear: SI but no pro

(Garcia, et al 1975:39,103).
(86) a. *(yu) bas-aja
I
sing-PRES
'I sing'
b.

mu-re
cenaroti-aja yu
you-DAT greet-PRES
I
'I greet y o u '

Though the number of languages of this type is quite


small, this is no doubt due to the relatively small number
of languages without null subjects. I therefore conclude
that no exceptionless correlation exists.
Equally as resistant to implicational statement is
the correlation between null thematic subjects and that-t
145

filter violations.

My survey reports the following

figures.
(87)
yes

THAT
yes
no
5
3

no

pro
1
89 combinations involving ND
100 total
The yes-yes and no-no types are well-known from Perlmutter's original study and require no discussion, despite
the small number from my sample in the latter cell.

The

no-yes type includes Icelandic and Papiamentu, both of


which have been discussed before (Maling & Zaenan 1978;
Schroten 1983).

The fourth cell is equally resistant to

reanalysis: it includes Finnish, Georgian, and Cochabamba


Quechua, all clearly languages with null thematic sub
jects, all as clearly resistant to subordinate subject
extractions as Finnish (which was discussed in section
2.3.2.3.
I therefore conclude that no correlation exists here
either.
2.3.2.6

Summary

Four correlations, restated in (88), summarize the


findings of this survey.

None of the correlations is

biconditional, and for that reason Safir's analysis, which


weakly correlates the four phenomena, actually appears
closest to the truth.

146

(88) a.

pro

--> EXE

b.

SI

--> EXE

c.

SI

> THAT

d.

THAT

--> EXE

(statistical)

Note also that the collection of correlations indi


cates once more that Icelandic SI is ripe for reanalysis.
Icelandic SI is what makes (90b) a statistical generaliza
tion, yet the exceptionless SI --> EXE is derivable from
(88c) and (88d) through transitivity.
2.3.3

Comparison with other samples


My results can be compared against two independent

surveys, the informal collection of generative accounts


reported in chart 2 of section 2.1, repeated below, and
the survey conducted in van der Auwera (1984).

In tabular

form, according to the same intuitions which mediated the


results of my survey, the results of chart 2 are given in
(89).
(89)
pro-EXE
pro-SI
pro-THAT
EXE-SI
EXE-THAT
SI-THAT

yes-yes
13
9
10
9
12
7

yes-no
0
5
1
9
2
1

no-yes
5
1
2
1
0
5

no-no
5
9
6
4
4
6

ND
1
0
3
1
4
3

147

Arabic:Levantine
Bani-Hassan
Chamorro
Dutch:A
B
English
Flemish:west
French:modern
old
German:standard
Bavarian
Hausa
Hebrew
Icelandic
Irish
Italian
Japanese
Mandarin
Portuguese:European
Brazilian
Quechua: Imbabura
Spanish
Swedish
ND:
(1):
(2):
(3):
(4):

pro

EXE

SI

yes(1)
yes
yes
no
no
no
yes
no
yes
no
yes
yes
yes
no
yes
yes
no( 3)
no( 3)
yes
yes
yes(1)
yes
no

yes(1)
yes
yes
no
yes
no
yes
no
yes
yes
yes
yes
yes
yes(2)
yes
yes
yes
yes
yes
yes
ND
yes
no

yes(1)
yes
yes
no
no
no
no
no
no
no
no
yes
yes
yes
no
yes
no
no
yes(4)
no
yes(l)
yes
no

THAT
no
yes
yes
no
yes
no
yes
no
ND
no
yes
yes
yes
yes
yes
yes
ND
ND
no
yes
no
yes
yes

no data, not testable


in main clauses only
except when sentence-initial in main clauses
null subject without AGR
inverted subject is obligatorily focused

chart 2: cross-linguistic range of generative Pro-drop


analyses
The survey in van der Auwera (1984), displayed in
chart 6 below, was collected primarily with the goal of
determining which if any of the other null subject pheno
mena correlated with that-t filter violations, though it
also contains information sufficient to test out the other
possible correlations.

After taking into account the

doublets created by those languages with restricted dis


tributions of various phenomena, the results are those
given in (90).
148

Dutch
English
Old English
Bavarian German
Hausa
Hungarian
Icelandic
Italian
Norwegian
Papiamentu
Portuguese
Quechua
Ancash
Huanca
Imbabura
Russian
Serbo-Croatian
Spanish
Finnish Swedish

pro

EXE

SI

THAT

no
no
no
no
yes
yes
no
yes
no
no
yes

yes
no
ND
ND
yes
yes
yes
yes
no
ND
yes

no
no
ND
ND
yes
yes
ND
yes
no
ND
yes

yes
no
yes
yes
yes
no
yes
yes
yes
yes
yes

yes
yes
yes(1)
yes
yes
yes
no

ND
ND
ND
yes
ND
yes
no

yes(l)
yes(l)
yes(1)
ND
ND
yes
no

no
no
no
no
no
yes
yes

ND: no data
(1): main clause only
chart 6: the van der Auwera sample
(90)

yes-yes
pro-EXE
pro-SI
pro-THAT
EXE-SI
EXE-THAT
SI-THAT

2.3.3.1

yes-no

6
8
4
5
6
4

0
2
5
1
2
1

no-yes

no-no

3
0
7
0
2
3

3
5
2
3
1
4

ND
4
6
0
6
4
6

Testing my results

When the data from the three surveys is compared, the


results are remarkably similar.

Among the three surveys,

only five cells are empty, though no one survey lacks all
five.

149

van der Auwera

(91)

pro:yes-EXE:no
pro:no-SI:yes
EXE:no-SIryes
EXE:no-THATryes
SIryes-THATrno

0
0
0
2
1

chart 2

Gilligan
0
9
1
0
0

0
1
1
0
1

For only one of these correlations do all three surveys


agree, such that the implication, pro --> EXE, from the
previous section seems especially well-founded.

Almost as

universal is the implication SI --> EXE, which only re


quires reanalysis of Icelandic SI.
Note, however, that there are additional problems
posed by these two surveys for my implications SI --> THAT
and THAT --> EXE.

Before addressing these points,

however, it is important to stress how unexpected the


parallels between the three samples actually is.
The three samples used quite different criteria.
Generative studies, of course, are generally motivated
through intensive analysis of generally only two (types
of) languages.

Van der Auwera's approach, on the other

hand, sought to uncover surface counterexamples as an end


in itself.

Even though he appears to have accepted the

definitions and the range of languages as they were sup


plied by generative analysis, implicit in his work is the
denial of an abstract level which might make the excep
tions only apparent.

Only in the present work has there

been any attempt to regulate definitions or provide for a


responsible sample.

150

As for the empty cells in my survey which are not


mirrored by empty cells in both of the other surveys, the
dispute is rather easily resolved in my favor when the
counterexamples are viewed close up.

For instance, both

surveys cite one SI:yes-THAT:no language: European Portu


guese (EP) in chart 2, Hungarian in van der Auwera's
sample.

In both cases, there is evidence that the lan

guages should be reanalyzed as lacking true SI.


Hungarian, on the other hand, is a free word order
type of language, though if the analysis of Kiss (1981) is
accepted, most of these orders come about through movement
rather than base-generation.

Since the OVS order involves

topicalization of the object (and fronting of the verb),


Hungarian fails to be a true SI language, according to the
definition from section 2.2.
The cross-linguistic distribution predicted by SI -->
THAT would also indicate that the apparent examples of SI
in European Portuguese are also ripe for reanalysis.

In

the course of defining SI earlier in this chapter, it was


noted that EP SI was odd in two respects: first, it is
restricted to intransitives for most speakers; second, the
inverted subject is obligatorily focused.

In the absence

of data which precludes a reanalysis of EP SI, these


points at least accent its exceptional nature.
Van der Auwera also points out two counterexamples to
my THAT --> EXE implication: Finnish Swedish and Norwe
gian, both of which do not have null nonthematic subjects
151

but do have apparent that-t filter violations.

Taraldsen

(1986) has noted that the relativization strategies in


Norwegian display a subject-object asymmetry, however:
though both subjects and objects may be extracted from
tensed subordinate clauses headed by an overt complementi
zer, that complementizer may only delete in relative
clauses formed of objects.
(92) a.

vi kjenner den mannen

*(som) e snakker med M


i
we know
the man
that
talk
with M
'we knowthe man thatis talking
to M 1
i

b.

vi kjenner den mannen

(som)

Merit snakker

i
we know
med

the man

that M

talk

i
with
'we know the man that Mary is talking with1
Essentially, Taraldsen's analysis treats the null form of
the complementizer as the basic form; thus, the obliga
toriness of the 0 --> som rule for subject relative
clauses constitutes a complementizer-changing rule.

The

conclusion which may be drawn from this analysis is that


Norwegian (as well as West Flemish) is parallel to French
and English because it only has apparent violations of the
that-t filter.

A parallel complementizer choice appar

ently masks apparent violations of the that-t filter in


Finnish Swedish as well.
To conclude this section, it is instructive to note a
final correlation which resisted implicational statement
on the basis of my survey, yet which is apparently

152

predicted by both of the others: the null thematic


subjects-subject inversion correlation.

As mentioned in

section 2.3.2.5, no generative analyses support this


correlation, and so one should expect no:'empty cells to
appear.

They do, however, at least in these two surveys.

(93)
yes-yes
chart 2 lgs
9
van der Auwera
8

pro-SI correlations
yes-no
no-yes
5
1
9
2
0

no-no
5

In van der Auweras sample, there are none on the surface;


among the chart 2 languages, only Icelandic is listed as a
pro:no-SIryes type, though as I have repeated countless
times it is likely that Icelandic lacks true SI, and so
should be reclassified in the table above, leaving another
empty cell.
Strong evidence for the existence of this type in my
sample is a confirmation of those analyses which posited
no such correlation; the failure to capture this type in
the other two samples is a condemnation of narrowly de
fined samples.

Other problems may also be laid at the

doorstep of poor sampling techniques, as I will point out


in the next section.
2.3.3.2

Counterexamples and the three samples

There is another significant difference separating


the two other surveys from mine: a matter of how easy it
is to provide a counteranalysis for unexpected types of
languages.

When the EXE-SI correlation fails to be sup

ported by the facts, it is quite simple for the analyst


153

cognizant of only the chart 2 languages to persist in


attempting to maintain the EXE-SI biconditional relation.
For example, out of the eight languages cited as
EXE:yes-SI:no exceptions in the two surveys, five (Dutch
A, Old French, standard German, Bavarian German, and West
Flemish) are verb-second languages and another (Irish) is
a VSO type.

One might therefore propose that overt verb-

movement interferes with the appearance of SI in these


languages.

Undoubtedly, some such analysis is possible,

given the wide range allowed by abstract analysis.

Whe

ther Mandarin or Brazilian Portuguese fall under this


counteranalysis or some other, the fact is that the task
of reanalyzing the counterexamples is aided by the close
relations among the languages in the sample.
It need hardly be repeated that such a reanalysis of
all the EXE:yes-SI:no types in my sample is quite unlike
ly.

To begin with, they outnumber all other types com

bined in my sample; furthermore, they constitute a most


heterogenous set (cf. section 2.3.2.2).
Precisely the same point can be made concerning those
other supposedly biconditional relations, Rizzi's SI <-->
THAT and Taraldsen's EXE <--> THAT.

In the biased sur

veys, these attain moderate success: Rizzi's SI:noTHAT ryes counterexamples include six verb-movement lan
guages (Dutch A, Bavarian German, Irish, Norwegian, Fin
nish Swedish, and West Flemish) and Brazilian Portuguese;
Taraldsen's EXE:yes-THAT:no counterexamples include
154

standard German, European Portuguese, and two free word


order languages (Hungarian and Russian) which might be
counted as nonSI if the arguments concerning Hungarian SI
in section 2.3.3.1 are accepted.

Though my sample

contains only three additional counterexamples to each of


these analyses (due to the difficulty of collecting
information on that-t filter violations), the extra
counterexamples appear resistant to reanalysis (cf. the
discussion in sections 2.3.2.3 and 2.3.2.4).
2.3.4

Conclusions
Although the counterexamples which are uncovered in

the present survey do not form as easily a reanalyzed


group as the counterexamples of previous work, it still
might be the case that there is some underlying property
which causes them to mask the effects of, say, Rizzi's
analysis of the Pro-drop Parameter.

It simply can never

be proven that such an alternative is impossible.

Still,

at the very least, the new data brought up by this survey


(with their attendant difficulties) will constrain any
analyst who wishes to maintain correlations other than
those stated in section 2.3.2.5, repeated below as (94).
(94) a.

pro

> EXE

b.

SI

--> EXE (statistical)

c.

SI

--> THAT

d.

THAT > EXE

155

Another tack a defender of stronger correlations


might take is to claim that there is more than one coun
terparameter which is interfering with the surface display
of the null subject correlations in the exceptional lan
guages.

Again, it can never be a priori demonstrated how

many parameters are interacting, and so the possibility


cannot be discounted completely.
No such proliferation of interfering parameters
occurs with word order parameters, though.

There, as we

have seen in the first chapter, the four types predicted


by the interaction of the two parameters is reflected
extremely closely by the observed surface types of basic
word order.

Where there are languages which obscure this

basic word order in certain constructions, e.g., SVO


orders created in an SOV language like Dutch, there is
always evidence of the basic word order.

To claim that

there are languages which have their underlying orders


obscured entirely at the surface level (cf. the VSO hypo
thesis for English in McCawley 1970) is to admit that
one's grammar is poorly constrained.
This alternative should not be acceptable for an
analysis of the Pro-drop Parameter either.

The predicted

types should be apparent, if not because they are com


pletely transparent on the surface level, then because a
language learner should be able to unambiguously acquire
them.

No one has a theory of parametric variation any

where near well articulated enough to make the claim that


156

the possibility of numerous counterparameters interfering


with the predicted types of null subject languages should
be taken seriously.
I therefore conclude that the failure of the RizziTaraldsen hypotheses to extend to other languages in any
general way is evidence that they are incorrectly stated.
It may well be the fact that in Italian, for instance, a
null nonthematic subject is related to the property which
allows subject inversion and that-t filter violations.
However, it seemingly cannot be the case that a single
parameter setting is responsible for this collection of
constructions: there are simply too many languages in
which the direct correlations do not hold.
The problem is therefore a matter of settling upon
the best way in which to improve these analyses.

Safir's

analysis, which I have ignored for most of this chapter,


does fit in a bit better with the correlations as I have
stated them in (94), though my implication SI --> EXE (not
to mention Rizzi (1986b)'s reanalysis of Trentino and
Modenese mentioned in section 2.1) indicates that he has
overstated the independence of null nonthematic subjects
and subject inversions.

It may also be noted that he is

likewise as incorrect as Rizzi about the SI-THAT correla


tion, but that is because he completely assumed Rizzis
analysis on this point.
It hardly matters whether Safir or any other indirect
combination of the phenomena is correct, however, for the
157

loss of direct biconditional relations between the various


phenomena has such far-reaching consequences that the
whole pursuit of correlating the phenomena seems
pointless.

The initial rationale behind correlating the

phenomena was to provide for a more constrained analysis


of null subjects, or rather the property which allows
them.

These correlations are an extremely effective con

straint on parametric analysis when they are bicondi


tional, for then the constraints on the analysis of one
phenomenon must adhere completely to those imposed on the
analysis of the other phenomenon.

This is the logic of a

biconditional statement.
When only implicational statements relate phenomena,
however, the constraints on the analysis are much weaker.
A statement like SI --> EXE actually reveals very little
about EXE, only that the antecedent (SI) may occur with it
or not.

Instead, it constrains the analysis of SI, the

appearance of which depends upon the possibility of the


consequent (EXE).
Analysis may of course proceed this way.

For exam

ple, one might now try to understand that property which,


in addition to the property underlying null nonthematic
subjects, is required for subject inversion.

The topic of

this work is not subject inversions, however.

None of the

implications gives a single clue as to the property under


lying null subjects; they only say that this property must
be supplemented by some other property for subject
158

inversions and that-t filter violations.

As the null

subject property is the goal of this investigation, the


constraints imposed by the implications in (94) are there
fore of questionable value.
It would be a mistake to conclude that the search for
direct constraints upon the analysis of null subjects need
be dropped.

In the next chapter, I propose such a new set

of constraints.

159

3.0

A wider perspective: null pronouns

This chapter marks the beginning of a more positive


contribution to the study of null subjects.

Once again,

the survey is used to test previously suggested hypo


theses.

Again, the predictions of these hypotheses are

not entirely reflected in the results of the cross-lin


guistic survey.

However, the distance between the predic

tions and the results of the survey is small enough to


allow for the refinement of one of the hypotheses.

Re

finement of this hypothesis is the task of the fourth and


fifth chapters.
The hypotheses I shall be concerned with in this
chapter all purport to characterize that property which
underlies null subjects.

The property I focus upon is

agreement morphology: to be more specific, the hypothesis


that null subjects and subject agreement morphology are
biconditionally correlated.

It is my contention that the

agreement hypothesis, or some version of this hypothesis,


correctly (if only partly) states a necessary condition on
null pronouns.
This general hypothesis is expounded upon in two
different analyses.

Taraldsen's generalization posits a

biconditional relation between agreement and null pro


nouns, and thus predicts two types of languages: one which
has agreement morphology and optionally null subjects and
another which lacks both agreement and the option of null
subj ects.
160

The second specific statement of the agreement hypo


thesis is found in Huangs work on Mandarin.

Huang,

drawing justification from his analysis of null subjects


in Mandarin, a language without agreement, has alterna
tively proposed that null pronouns in general are bicon
ditionally related with agreement but that the option of
null thematic subjects also arises where agreement is
lacking altogether.
Both these hypotheses (and the addenda to them pro
posed by Pesetsky 1982 and Rizzi 1986a, cf. section 3.1
below) can easily be checked by the survey method.

There

are, however, certain analyses of the property underlying


null subjects which cannot be so easily surveyed.

In

these analyses, the crucial property is often defined in a


circular manner, generally by an abstract property in a
one-to-one relation with null subjects, or a surface pro
perty which is so amorphous as to defy definition.

There

is nothing inherent in an abstract property which makes it


untestable, of course, but unless this abstract property
entails recognizable surface behavior which is independent
of null subjects, testing is pointless.

In every instance

in which such a property has been proposed to underlie


null subjects, the only surface ramifications which might
provide such evidence are precisely those which I have
argued in the conclusion of the preceding chapter to be so
weak as to not constrain the analysis of null subjects in
any illuminating way.

Thus, I must ignore, among others,


161

Rizzi's (1982) suggestion that null thematic subjects


require an INFL which is both [+pronominal] and
preferential] .
Another analysis which must be ignored is Safir
(1985), where it is claimed that null thematic subjects
require both a rule of NOM-drop and subject clitics.
approach is untenable for two reasons.

His

First, the NOM-

drop rule is circularly defined, for it has only null


subjects as a direct surface ramification.

Second,

Safir's notion "subject clitic" is unusable because, as


Rizzi (1986b) argues, it conflates morphological clitics
and syntactic clitics (cf. my discussion in section
2.1.3); further, Safir's need to posit null clitics in
languages where clitics are not otherwise justifiable
again leads to a circular definition, such that one can
only be certain that a language has subject clitics if it
is an NSL.
The survey is a priori constrained in one other way.
I assume that the property responsible for null subjects
is applicable not only to null subjects but to all null
pronouns.

In addition to clarifying the domain of null

pronoun phenomena, i.e., the parameter affects particular


constructions rather than languages, generalizing the
investigation in this manner has significant ramifications
for my analysis.

Since the agreement hypothesis is tested

on not only null subjects, but on all null pronouns, any


differences in behavior among the null pronoun sites
162

provide another constraint upon the analysis.

In this

way, the current investigation attains the same kind of


constraint as investigators of the pro-drop parameter: the
more phenomena tied to null subjects, the more constrained
is the analysis.
For this reason, I henceforth refer to the topic of
my investigation as the Null Pronoun Parameter (NPP).
3.1

The agreement hypothesis in previous work


From the early days of modern linguistic science, the

dependence of null subjects upon agreement morphology


(AGR) has been recognized (cf., for example, Jespersen
1984[1937]:127).

Perlmutter, in his pioneering generative

analysis of null subjects, formalized this notion by using


AGR as a trigger for the deletion rule which creates null
subjects.

Subsequent generative analyses, though altering

other particulars of his analysis, e.g., replacing the


deletion rule by a base-generation approach, have retained
AGR in its central role.

In the GB framework, this agree

ment-null subject correlation has come to be known as


'Taraldsen's generalization1; I will refer to it more
generally as the agreement hypothesis.
Whatever the name, many points indicate that it is
correct, not the least of which is that it is intuitively
satisfying.

In a sentence with AGR and a corresponding

pronoun, both of which carry pronominal information, it is


clear that information about that pronominal argument is

163

redundantly encoded.

The nonobligatoriness of redundant

information cannot be surprising.


The hypothesis also receivessignificant support
patterns of AGR and null
guages.

from

arguments withinnumerous lan

For example, in many languages with partial AGR

paradigms (though not English or French, for reasons which


will become clear in chapter five), a null pronoun is
possible only in those instances covered by the AGR sys
tem.

In Sao Tome Creole, only first person singular

subjects are encoded by AGR, and only they may be null.


(1)

(a'mi) i-ka
ba dumi1ni
I
ls-AOR go sleep
'I will go to sleep'

(Ivens Ferraz 1975)

Other thematic pronominal subjects lack corresponding AGR,


and so must be lexical.
(2)

*(bo) ka ba dumi'ni
you AOR go sleep
'you will go to sleep'

Another language which provides a particularly con


vincing demonstration that AGR is the crucial property
underlying null pronouns is Pashto, a splitergative
language.
detail.)

(Cf. the discussion in Huang 1984 for more


The null pronominal argument in this language is

always that NP encoded on the verb: in the nominativeaccusative pattern of agreement,

(3), only the nominative-

marked subject may be null; in the ergative-absolutive


pattern,

(4), which is triggered by perfective aspect,

only the ergative-marked NPs, i.e., the object of a

164

transitive verb and the subject of an intransitive verb,


may be null.
(3) a.

0 mana xwr-^m
apple eat-lsm
11 eat the apple 1

(Huang 1984:536)

b. *za 0 xwr-dm
I
eat-lsm
I eat i t 1
(4) a.

ma 0 wd-xwar-a
I
PRF-eat-3sf
I ate i t
b. *0 mana wd-xwar-a
apple PRF-eat-3sf
I have eaten the apple1

In other languages, AGR appears only in certain con


structions and, not surprisingly, only in these con
structions may pronominal arguments be null.

In Ecua

dorian Quechua, for example, null subjects are grammatical


in matrix clauses where there is AGR but not in sub
ordinate clauses where there isnt.
(5) a.

b.

(nuka) Marya-ta juya-ni


I/NOM M-ACC
love-PRES/ls
I love Maria

(Cole 1982:34)

Juan-ka [*(nuka) Marya-ta juya-j-ta]


J-TOP
I/NOM M-ACC
love-NML-ACC
ya-n
think-PRES/3s
Juan thinks that I love Marfa'

A similar situation exists in other languages as well,


e.g., Hebrew, which has subject AGR and null subjects only
in the past and future tenses (Berman 1980:760).
Taraldsens role in the evolution of the agreement
hypothesis amounts to the role he suggested for AGR in
NSLs: in these languages, it is rich enough to act as a
165

binder for the subject position.

For Taraldsen, a nonNSL

lacks AGR and so null subjects are ruled out by the NIC.
Taraldsen*s hypothesis was originally developed with only
null subjects in mind, though the extension of its ideas
to other null pronouns seems clear enough.

A null

thematic pronoun should be possible wherever there is AGR;


an obligatorily lexical pronoun should appear where AGR is
lacking.
Taraldsen*s analysis has encountered two types of
problems.

First, there are languages like Dutch B in

which only nonthematic subjects may be null.

As noted

previously, Pesetsky proposed that the difference between


Dutch B and a full NSL like Spanish, with both null non
thematic and thematic subjects, was a matter of 'richness
of inflection', the idea being that Dutch AGR is rich
enough for only nonthematic subjects.

In the remainder of

this chapter, I refer to this version of the agreement


hypothesis as the Taraldsen-Pesetsky (T-P) analysis.
The one and only suggestion I am aware of which seeks
to characterize 'richness of inflection' is found in Rizzi
(1986a:543), even if his version appears incompatible with
the T-P use of the term.

Rizzi proposed that a referen

tial (i.e., thematic) argument requires specification of


person and number whereas a null nonthematic argument
requires no specification of either.

Lack of AGR features

for the T-P hypothesis, of course, is a characteristic of


nonNSLs, not weak NSLs.

The differences between T-P's and


166

RizziTs predictions are an empirical matter which the


survey should shed light upon.
The second problem with Taraldsens and subsequently
T-Ps analyses is the fact that there are more language
types than either predicts.

In addition to the predicted

full NSLs [+rich AGR, +optional null subjects], non


thematic NSLs [+weak AGR, +null nonthematic subjects] and
nonNSLs [-AGR -null subjects], analysts of null subject
phenomena have come across two nonpredicted types: NSLs
[-AGR, +optional null subjects] and nonNSLs [+rich AGR,
-null thematic subjects].
The first of these types has received extensive
analysis in Huangs analyses of Mandarin (cf. Huang
1982,1984) and those who have either responded to his work
(e.g., Xu 1986, Xu & Langendoen 1985) or explored its
ramifications in other languages (e.g., Raposo 1986 for
Portuguese, Lillo-Martin 1985 for American Sign Language).
Huangs analysis begins with the observation that many
different pronominally-interpreted arguments may be null
in Mandarin, e.g., the subjects and objects in both matrix
and subordinate clauses (Huang 1984:537).
(6) a.

b.

0 lai-le
come-ASP
I/you/he/etc. came
Lisi

hen

xihuan 0

i
Lisi very like
Lisi likes me/you/him/etc. very much

167

(6) c.

Zhangsan

shuo [0

bu renshi Lisi]

i
i /j
Zhangsan say
not know
Lisi
Zhangsan said that I/you/he/etc. did not know
Lisi
d.

Zhangsan

shuo [Lisi

bu

renshi 0
]
i
j
*i/*j /k
Zhangsan say
Lisi not know
Zhangsan said Lisi did not know me/you/him/
etc.

The fact that the identity of the gaps in (6abd) can only
be determined through discourse context (as well as other
facts concerning their interpretation, to be discussed in
chapter four) prompted Huang to analyze them as variables
which are bound at s-structure by a null topic.

The same

analysis extends to (6c), at least for the reading in


which the gap is determined through discourse and thus
disjoint in reference from the matrix subject.
In the reading of (6c) where the two subjects are
coreferential, however, Huang claims that the subordinate
subject is indeed a null pronoun.

This conclusion is

forced by his analysis of the other gaps: if the co


referential gap in (6c) is a variable as are the other
gaps, then coindexing it with a higher subject should
result in a strong crossover violation.

It does not, and

therefore the coreferential gap cannot be a variable.


Since the gap occurs in a tensed clause, Huang assumes
that it cannot be PRO; he therefore concludes that it is a
pronoun, citing as further evidence the fact that it
apparently obeys binding condition B.

168

Since Mandarin does not have AGR of any sort, Huang


proposed a restatement of the agreement hypothesis.

The

option of a null subject, he suggested, occurs either


where there is a complete lack of AGR (as in Mandarin) or
where there is a rich system of AGR (as in Italian, et
a l); the option does not exist (e.g., in French or
English) where the AGR is somewhat degenerate (p.535).
In this way, Huang extended Taraldsens generalization to
the first set of counterexamples: [-AGR, +null subject]
languages.
Since Huangs hypothesis builds upon Taraldsens
approach, one might suppose that Pesetsky's predictions
would also carry over.

Yet Huang never explicitly dealt

with the matter of nonthematic subjects.

Furthermore, his

suggestion that degenerate AGR is a property of nonNSLs


appears at odds with Pesetskys claim that weak AGR
characterizes NSLs which allow only nonthematic subjects
to be null.

Neither analyst supplies a definition of

nonrich AGR.

Again, this would appear to be a matter

easily settled by the survey method.


A final point needs to be made about Huangs analy
sis.

Though he does predict that the option of null

subjects is possible where AGR is lacking, he explicitly


states that this prediction does not generalize to other
null pronoups.

For Huang, all pronominally-interpreted

nonsubjects must not be pronouns.

His explanation for the

169

restricted distribution of agreementless null pronouns is


discussed in chapter four.
The second group of counterexamples to the agreement
hypothesis, languages with an apparently rich AGR system
but without null thematic subjects, e.g., the German exam
ple below, have been somewhat more resistant to reanaly
sis, at least within the bounds of some agreement hypo
theses.
(7)

mich ha-t
*(sie)
tief verletzt
1/ACC have-PRES/3s she/NOM deep wound
she has wounded me deeply

One approach to overcoming this problem would be to define


richness of inflection in such a way that German lacks
sufficiently rich AGR or sufficiently poor AGR; in failing
to allow for the recoverability of the null subject, it
would thus fail to have null subjects.

Yet Bavarian

German allows null thematic subjects and it has precisely


the same set of agreement morphemes as standard German
(Bayer, p.c.).

An agreement-based analysis thus seems

doomed to failure.
Another conceivable option is to ignore the German
type, since it is extremely rare, perhaps making it an
exception to the null pronoun parameter.

This is hardly

in the spirit of the present investigation, which denies


the possibility of languages being exceptions to para
meters (cf. section 1.5).

Instead, I propose that there

is a second parameter involved, one which interferes with


the otherwise biconditional relation between agreement and
170

null pronouns.

This counterparameter is discussed more

fully in the conclusion to this chapter and in chapter


five.
It is expected that the survey method will provide
much-needed information about the general adequacy of the
agreement hypotheses and about what constitutes sufficient
richness.

Though the survey is only a test of these

hypotheses and not of some counterparameter, and the


agreement hypotheses are unlikely to solve the Bavarianstandard German quandry, it is not unfair to expect that
the survey will also provide clues concerning the proper
analysis of the counterparameter.
To summarize, the specific agreement hypotheses I
will test for cross-linguistic adequacy are the following:
1)

Taraldsen's hypothesis
optionally null pronouns <--> AGR;
obligatorily lexical pronouns < > lack of AGR

2)

Taraldsen-Pesetsky's hypothesis
optionally null thematic pronouns <--> rich AGR;
null nonthematic pronouns <--> weak AGR;
obligatorily lexical pronouns <--> lack of AGR

3)

Rizzi's hypothesis
optionally null thematic pronouns <--> person
and number specification;
null nonthematic pronouns --> person and number
specification or no specification at all

4)

Huang's hypothesis
optionally null thematic subjects <--> rich AGR
or no AGR;
optionally null thematic nonsubjects <--> rich
AGR;
obligatorily lexical pronouns <--> degenerate AGR

171

3.2

Redefining the survey phenomena


Because this survey tests different hypotheses than

the survey of chapter two, it is essential that I make


clear what the many new phenomena are as well as the
criteria which define these phenomena.

There is sig

nificant overlap between many of these phenomena and those


of the previous survey, of course, since both test null
subjects.

But the definition of null subjects introduced

in chapter two was closely tied to Romance-based analyses


of the Pro-drop Parameter and so the role of agreement was
overstated.

In this survey, null pronouns in agree-

mentless languages are explicitly recognized, so that a


more general definition is more appropriate.
In the previous survey, null pronominal arguments
were defined in accord with the null subject parameter,
i.e., as null subjects identified by AGR.

In this survey,

however, the method I adopt is to divorce the definition


of null pronouns from any language-specific or analysisspecific definition and instead build upon a more neutral
ground an analysis of null pronouns.

As a result, the

present approach includes all those null pronouns which


have previously been studied, plus a number which have
been overlooked for one reason or another.
The differences between the previous definitions and
the ones to be developed in this chapter are not extreme.
For instance, it must still be assumed that a null pronoun
is an EC which is incompatible with obligatory binding by
172

a nonthematic antecedent.

The gap still cannot enter into

any coindexing relation which violates binding condition


B.

And gaps due to ellipsis and coordination are again

considered to be outside the realm of inquiry.

The essen

tial difference is one of generality, in terms of where


null pronouns may appear and in terms of what constitutes
a null pronoun.
With some phenomena, the definitions do not change at
all.

For example, the definition of AGR established in

the preceding chapter is adopted intact.


3.2.1

Nul1 pronouns
In this section, I consider a syntactic definition of

null pronouns, first in terms of the projection principles


and then in terms of whether an EC has syntactic reality.
Both are found lacking in some respect, and so an inter
pretive definition is explored.

Since this too is flawed,

I adopt a tripartite definition of null pronouns.


3.2.1.1

The role of the Projection Principle(s)

Behind all investigations of null pronouns has been


the intuition that if a particular syntactic relation is
predicted by the lexical frame of a head, it is syn
tactically present whether or not it is lexical.

In the

GB framework, this intuition is captured by the Projection


Principle (PP), which demands that syntactic structure
reflect absolutely the lexical properties of heads.

173

The PP is instantiated in GB theory through theta


theory.

If a lexical head or some other theta assigner

requires an argument, the head assigns a theta role to


this argument.

In situations where this argument is not

phonologically realized, the language user nevertheless


recognizes that it must exist because part of learning the
meaning of a lexical item, e.g., kiss, is knowing that its
argument structure requires an object.

An adjunct cannot

be null for the opposite reason: these phrases are never


required, never assigned a theta role, hence never assumed
to be present when not lexical.
When null arguments are approached from the perspec
tive of the PP, it is clear that the realm of investiga
tion is not just the null subject parameter, but the null
argument parameter.

For this reason alone the PP should

be part of the definition of null pronouns.


Still, this formulation ignores one null element
which was shown by the previous survey to be closely
correlated with null thematic subjects: null nonthematic
subjects.

The PP, after all, refers only to thematic

elements.

The extension of the survey to nonthematic

subjects is formally stated via the Extended Projection


Principle (EPP), which supplements the PP with the reo

quirement that each sentence have a subject.

Given this

extension, it is more appropriate to think of this in


vestigation in terms of null argument-positions, where Apositions are defined as potential sites for arguments
174

(whether that position is theta-marked or not).

I will

continue to use the term null pronoun to refer generally


to null A-positions, however.
3.2.1.2

Possible sites for null pronouns and the adequacy


of the PP and EPP as tests

In the previous survey, only subjects were investi


gated, and so only the provision of the EPP that each
sentence have a subject was relevant.

But even a casual

glance at a small subset of languages reveals that null


pronouns additionally occur in at least the following
locations: direct object (Cherokee, own data), indirect
object (Basque, Saltarelli, p.c.), and object of adpositions (Welsh, McCloskey & Hale 1984:519), respectively
exemplified below.
(8) a.

aya (nihi) kv:y-v:nika


I
you
lsS/2sO-hit/PUNC
'I hit you

b.

zu-k
(ar-i)
liburu-a irakur-ri
you-ERG she-DAT book-ACC read-lprt
d-io-zu
3sACC-3sDAT-2sERG
'you have read the book to her'

c.

iddo (fe)
to/3sm him
'to him'

In each case, the null pronoun is an argument unambiguous


ly and obligatorily predicted by its head.
Null pronouns are also recognizable on a more basic
level, i.e., because of their syntactic effects.

For

example, a Spanish subject, whether null or lexical, may

175

control the null subject of an infinitival complement or


the gender of a predicate adjective.
(9) a.

b.

(yo ) quiero [PRO com-er]


i
i
I
want
eat-INF
'I want to eat'
(ell-a) es muy alt-a
3s-f
is very tall-f
'she is very tali'

So also may a null Spanish object determine the gender of


a predicate adjective.
(10)

yo la

considero (a ell-a) hermos-a


i
i
I 3sfD0.CL consider
3s-f
beautiful-f
'I consider her beautiful'

Or a Spanish indirect object control an infinitival com


plement.
(11)

yo le

permiti 0 [a PRO irse]


i
i
i
I 3sI0.CL permit
leave
'I permitted him to leave'

It is precisely this evidence of syntactic reality which


the PP is meant to capture.

Note, however, that it is

possible to be predicted by the PP yet fail to demonstrate


syntactic reality.

The null adpositional object in (8c)

is just such a case.


But there are other pronominal ECs which are not
clearly predicted by either the projection principles as I
have stated them or the syntactic reality test: null
possessive pronouns, e.g., in Finnish.
(12)

(min-un) auto-ni
I-GEN
car-lsPOSS
'my car'

176

Null possessive pronouns are not obligatorily subcategor


ized for by their heads, as are the subject and objects in
(8), for instance.

Whether this should force a restate

ment of the PP, such that it include optional arguments


requires a lengthy digression outside of my immediate
concerns.

More to the point is the failure of the PP (as

I have stated it) to extend clearly to all null pronouns.


Note further that since possessive pronouns do not
occur in positions from where they may control, they
cannot demonstrate their syntactic reality either.

Never

theless, it clear that (12) contains a null pronoun: a


lexical pronoun form is possible in these sites and there
is agreement with the possessor.
For these problematic cases, it is tempting to take
AGR as the feature defining null pronouns, since the very
presence of the morphology gives rise to an undeniable
pronominal interpretation.
But the suggestion is a poor one.

First of all, it

ignores agreementless languages like Mandarin, where there


demonstrably are null pronouns.

Furthermore, it ignores

the fact that, even when AGR appears in construction with


an empty category, one cannot be certain that a null
pronoun cooccurs.

Note, for example, the gap of main

clause subject extraction in Spanish.


(13)

quien

0
i

com-i-o

la

manzana

who
eat-PRET-3s the apple
'who ate the apple?'

177

This EC agrees with the verbal inflection and it occurs in


an A-position; under any GB analysis, however, the empty
category is a trace of WH-movement and not a pronoun.
But the major failing of this approach is that it
would be a circular convenience, for the goal of this
survey is to test whether null pronouns and AGR are cor
related.
Another possibility is the cooccurrence test, for one
way in which we know that a null possessive pronoun is
present in (12) is because a lexical possessive pronoun
may occur there.

But this test dpes not apply uniformly

to all languages in which there are null pronouns.

For

example, it is impossible for a lexical pronoun to cooccur


with agreement in Irish (McCloskey & Hale 1984:490,513-4).
(14) a.

b.

chuirfinn (*me) isteach ar an


phost sin
put/COND/ls I
in
on that job
'I would apply for that job
mo
theach (*me)
IsPOSS house
I
'my house

This criterion thus fails to extend to at least some


instance of null pronouns.
Given the failure of these tests to determine con
clusively the presence of a null pronoun, it is necessary
to seek some other defining characteristic, noting for the
while that the projection principles and the syntactic
reality test suffice to define at least a subset of null
pronouns.

178

3.2.1.3

Interpretation and null arguments

Though it is not syntactic like the previously dis


cussed defining characteristics, interpretation has much
to recommend it as an additional criterion for null pro
nouns.

To begin with, it includes null possessive pro

nouns within the realm of inquiry.

Besides, depending

upon pronominal interpretation guarantees that all


thematic null pronouns will be included in the survey.
The problem is the other phenomena it also includes.
For instance, it is possible for objects of certain
transitive verbs to be missing in some sense under certain
conditions, e.g., with habitual interpretation, and these
missing objects receive a pronominal (if generic) inter
pretation.

But there is evidence that these objects do

not have syntactic reality, e.g., they may not control


(Rizzi 1986:501,503).
(15)

this leads (people) to the following conclusion

(16) a.

this leads people

[PRO
i

to conclude what
i

follows]
b. *this leads 0

[PRO to conclude what follows]


i
i
It must therefore be concluded that these missing objects
are not null pronouns.

Note that the same arguments can

be made for other verbs which commonly 'drop' their objects, e.g., eat, drink.

However, the survey can hardly

depend upon whether or not the type of syntactic informa


tion in (15)-(16) is available for one hundred languages.

179

The interpretation criterion as I have thus far


defined it fails in this case, though this is not
necessarily true of all possible definitions based upon
interpretation.

For instance, we might adopt the require

ment that pronominally interpreted ECs which are otherwise


not documented by syntactic evidence must have the possi
bility of a nongeneric interpretation.

This distinction

removes the apparent null objects in English from con


sideration; furthermore, it allows arbitrary PRO and null
objects in Italian, which although characterized as arbi
trary in reference by Rizzi (1986) also have demonstrable
syntactic effects (cf. the Italian equivalents to (15) and
(16) above).
(17)

questo conduce (la gente) alia seguente


conclusione

(18) a.

questo conduce la gente

[a PRO
i

concludere
i

quanto segue]
b.

questo conduce 0

[a PRO
i

concludere quanto
i

segue]
The amended interpretation test also apparently makes
the correct prediction concerning constructions in which
some missing nominal element may be inferred from the
context.

For instance, in a discussion of the recent

death of Joe's parakeet, the speaker's uttering of (19a)


would probably be interpreted by the listener as definite
in reference, such that one might conclude that (19a) has
a nu11 pronoun.

180

(19)

a. oh, that's too bad


b.

oh, that's too bad for him

But the fact that (19a) also has a generic interpretation,


e.g., that's too bad in general, means that the syntactic
reality test must also be satisfied.
Epstein (1984) has claimed, on the basis of sentences
like (19a), that null dative nominals do indeed have
syntactic reality, the basic idea being that this missing
dative controls the subject of the infinitival complement
and supplies it with arbitrary interpretation.
(20)

a. it is fun to play baseball


b.

it is fun (for 0 ) [PRO to play baseball]


i
i

The same claim might then be extended to (18).


A related null nominal is the missing agent of pas
sive sentences.

The agent of a passive verb is not as

signed to the subject position, as is the case when the


verb is active; its precise site is in fact a matter of
intense investigation in the GB framework.

Yet the agent

theta role is decidedly present: for agentless passive


sentences are compatible with agent-oriented adverbials.
(21)

John was kissed (by Mary) with great passion

The interpretation of this missing nominal may also


be definite, as was the case with the missing dative of
(19)-(20).

When inventorying a criminal's apartment, for

instance, an individual hearing (22a) would most naturally


assume the more specific (22b).

181

(22) a.
b.

the TV was stolen


the TV was stolen by him, the criminal

One might as easily provide for this pronominal interpre


tation by a null pronoun as Epstein did for the dative
nominal above.
Regardless of the definite interpretations of (19)(22), there are also generic interpretations, which means
that the syntactic evidence test must be satisfied.
this point, neither pass.

On

Epstein's suggestion that the

null dative controls arbitrary PRO conceivably provides


such evidence, but actually it only takes the analysis to
the second turtle.

While his analysis explains the inter

pretation of the infinitival subject and in so doing


demonstrates the syntactic reality of the null dative, it
ultimately fails because the null dative is itself unmoti
vated.

And outside of Epstein's attempt, there is no

evidence for either of these missing nominals which is


suggestive of syntactic presence.

For these reasons I

will not include these ECs as possible sites, if indeed


these are ECs.
I have now drawn tentative limits to the interpreta
tion test.

It allows all gaps which receive an obliga

torily nongeneric interpretation, but does not deny those


generically interpreted gaps for which there is clear
syntactic evidence.

Thus, possessive pronouns, among

other possible null pronoun sites, are included in the


survey.
182

3.2.1.4

Testing the limits of null pronouns

An appropriate end to this definition of null pro


nouns is a discussion of the practical ramifications these
general requirements have for my survey of languages.
Apparent null objects in English have already been
removed from consideration via this line of reasoning, as
have the missing agents of passive sentences.

It is

possible to extend this criterion to other sites in order


to determine whether they should be counted as null pro
nouns or not.

I will now discuss two such cases: PRO and

the subject of imperative sentences.


PRO, the null subject of nonfinite verbs, is a par
ticularly interesting case.

In most GB analyses, this is

considered a completely separate type of EC, even though


it squarely fits within the definition of null pronouns
developed in this chapter.

PRO is not obligatorily bound

by a nonthematic antecedent; the subject position it oc


curs in is guaranteed by the EPP and its theta role is
obligatorily provided by its predicate; and although it
sometimes receives an arbitrary (=generic?) interpreta
tion, PRO is undeniably syntactically active, e.g., it may
bind a reflexive object.
The one question is whether PRO obeys binding condi
tion B: anaphor-based analyses of obligatorily controlled
PRO would claim that it does not.

(Cf. Manzini 1983 for

an analysis in which PRO falls within the extended limits


of anaphoric binding.)

This is but one of many problems


183

which result when PRO is analyzed as a null pronoun.

Note

also that PRO, unlike null pronouns in most languages,


fails to alternate with a lexical pronoun.

However, these

problems are secondary to the present concern, which is


determining whether PRO falls within the limits of a null
pronoun as I have defined it.

Clearly, in all ways but

the binding conditions, it does.

And since it is not

clear that PRO disobeys binding condition B, I assume that


the investigation of PRO as a null pronoun is warranted.
The second of these problematic cases is even simpler
to decide, at least at the presurvey level.

Nevertheless,

subjects of imperative sentences have been universally


excluded from any discussion of null subject phenomena,
perhaps because the investigation of null pronouns has in
the past been too tied to the question of whether a parti
cular language is an NSL or not.

Since most if not all

languages may have null subjects in imperatives, it is


unclear how they fit into such a schema.

But note that

these null pronouns adhere to all of the requirements


developed in this chapter; furthermore, they exhibit
another standard feature of null pronouns (at least those
found in tensed sentences) in so far as the lexicalized
form is obligatorily stressed vis-a-vis the null form.
This site for null pronouns will therefore be included in
the survey.

184

3.2.2

Agreement (reprise)
The bias of the previous survey led to the adoption

of a rather analysis-specific definition of AGR.

Simply

put, subject AGR was considered to be any morphological


form which reflects sufficient features of a subject argu
ment to allow that argument to be null.

Specifically, the

necessary feature was argued to be person AGR, though it


was noted that number AGR is also quite common.

The

distinction between clitics and morphemes was downplayed,


since both forms contain the relevant features and ar
guably cooccur with null subjects.
Such details as the exact locality requirement
holding between the agreement and its argument and the
possible sites for the agreement element were not con
sidered important for the previous survey.

These sub

sidiary issues will be ignored for the purposes of this


survey as well, though they will be characterized formally
in the fourth chapter.
Two points require comment.

The first is mentioned

at the risk of growing repetitive, that the agreement


relation may potentially hold between a morpheme or clitic
and any argument, not just a subject.

Examples of direct

object, indirect object, possessor, and adpositional


agreement have already been given in (8) and (12) above.
The second revision of the earlier definition is also
obvious.

Because the AGR-null pronoun correlation is the

185

whole point of the survey, the presence of one cannot be


construed as a test for the presence of the other.
3.2.3

Summary
In the survey of the following section,the cor

relation between AGR and null pronouns will be tested


against the same sample of languages used in the previous
survey.

Only those elements which satisfy the require

ments in (23) will be deemed null pronouns.

Only those

forms which satisfy the requirements in (24) will be


treated as AGR.
(23) a construction contains a null pronoun if...
a) the construction is not coordinate, elliptical,
or the answer to a question; and
b) either there is an EC independent of a nonthematic antecedent in a site which is predicted
by the projection principles, e.g., subject,
direct object, indirect object, object of
adposition;
or there is a syntactically active gap, i.e., a
possible controller, in a site which may be
filled by a pronoun;
or there is an obligatorily nongeneric pronomi
nal interpretation without a corresponding
syntactic argument; and
c) the EC does not behave binding conditions A or
C, i.e., it is not obligatorily bound within
the minimal sentence containing it nor bound
by a nonthematic antecedent
(24) a form
a)

X is an agreement marker if it...

is a dependent form (either a clitic or affix);


and

b) minimally contains the pronominal feature of


person; and
c) yields pronominal interpretation in the absence
of an overt argument with which it agrees; and
186

(24)

d) satisfies one of the following tests:


1) dependency test: it must remain a dependent
form under all varieties of speech; or
2) cooccurrence test: it must be able to
cooccur with a lexical subject; or
3) suppletion test: in slow speech it must be
distinct from 'strong' pronoun forms

3.3

Results of survey II
This survey has as its range the same one hundred

languages used in the first survey.

The comments and

caveats concerning the first survey therefore apply here


as well.
I conducted this survey by inquiring as to the
presence of null pronouns and agreement in the sites in
which it might appear in any language, using the criteria
stated at the end of the previous section.

The precise

format was as follows:


(25)

for position Y in language X, are there null


pronouns as defined in (23)?
if yes, go to (a)
if no, go to (b)
if the data is not conclusive, answer NC
a. does the null pronoun cooccur with agreement, as
it is defined in (24)?
1-if yes, answer 0+A, to indicate a null
pronoun (0) with agreement (+A);
note restrictions
2-if no, answer 0-A, to indicate a null
pronoun without agreement; note identifier
if overt and restrictions
3-if the null pronoun may occur with or
without agreement, answer 0(A);
note restrictions
187

(25) b. given the failure of pronouns in position Y to


be null, is there agreement with that position?
1-if yes, answer *0+A to indicate that
pronouns in this site, though they cooccur
with agreement, must be lexical
2-if no, answer *0-A
3-if some lexical pronouns in position Y are
agreed with and others are not, answer *0(A)
Other abbreviations used in the following chart and for
the remainder of this chapter include the following sites.
Sthem
Sinf
Simp
EXE
Dobj
Iobj
Poss
PPobj

thematic subject of a finite clause


subject of a nonfinite clause
subject of an imperative
nonthematic (or expletive) argument
direct object
indirect object
possessive pronoun
object of an adposition

188

Sthem

EXE

Dobj
0-A

Iobj

Poss PPobj
0+A1

<
i
o
*

chart seven:

Simp

<
i
o
*

0-A
Alyawarra
American Sign
Language
0(A)
0(A)
Angami
Arabic
0+A^
Classical
*0-A
Babungo
0+A
Basque
0+A
Bhoj puri
0+A
Big Nambas
0+A
Blackfoot
0+A
Bobangi
0-A
Burmese
Canela-Kraho 0+A
Cape York
*0-A
Creole
0-A
Caviteno
0+A
Chamorro
0+A
Cherokee
0+A
Chorote
0+A
Chukchi
0+A
Cocama
0+A
Daga
0+A
Dani
0-A
Duka
Egyptian
0+A
Middle
Engenni
*0-A
0+A
Ewondo
Finnish
0+A
0+A
Fore
0+A
Fula
0-A
Garo
Georgian
0+A
0+A
Golin
0+A
Gonj a
0+A
Grebo
Guarani
0+A
*0-A
Guaymr^
0+A
Hausa
Heiltsuk
0+A
0+A
Hixkaryana
0+A
Hua
0+A
Iai
*0+A
Icelandic
Indonesian
0-A
Betawi
Italian
0+A
0+A
Izi

Sinf
0-A

0-A

NC

NC
0-A

0(A)
0-A

0-A
NC

NC
NC
NC
0-A
NC
NC
NC
0-A
0-A

0-A
0-A
0+A
0-A
0-A
0-A
0-A
0-A
0(A)

0+A** 0+A
0-A *0-A
0+A
NC
NC *0-A
0+A^
NC
0+A
0+A
0+A
0+A
0-A
NC
0+A
NC

*0-A
*0-A
0+A
*0-A
*0-A
0+A
*0-A
*0-A
*0-A

0-A
0-A
0-A
NC
NC
0-A
0-A
NC
0-A
0-A

0-A
0-A
0-A
0+A
0+A
0+A
0-A
0+A
0+A
0-A

0-A
0-A
NC
NC
0-A
NC
NC
NC
NC
0-A

*0-A
0-A
0-A
0+A*
*0-A
0+A
0+A
0+A
0+A
*0-A

*0-A *0-A
*0-A *0-A
*0-A
0+A
0+A3 0+A6
*0-A
0+A
*0-A
0+A
*0-A
0+A
0+A
0+A6
0+A
*0-A
*0-A *0-A

*0-A
*0-A
*0-A
*0-A
*0-A
*0-A
*0-A
0+A
0+A
*0-A

NC
NC
NC
0(A)
NC
0-A
0-A
0-A
NC
NC
NC
0-A
NC
0-A
NC
0-A
NC
NC
0-A

0-A
0-A
0-A
0-A
0+A
0-A
0-A
0+A
0+A
0-A
0-A
0+A
0-A
0+A
0-A
0+A
0+A
0-A
0-A

0+A
NC
NC
0+A
NC
0-A
0-A
0+A
NC
NC
NC
NC
0-A
0+A
NC
NC
0+A
NC
0+A*

0+A
*0-A
0+A
*0-A
0+A*
0+A
0-A
0+A
*0-A
0+A*
0+A
0+A
*0-A
0-A
0+A
0+A
0+A
*0-A
*0-A

0+A
*0-A
0+A
*0-A
0+A3
*0-A
*0-A
0+A
*0-A
0+A3
*0-A
*0-A
*0-A
*0-A
*0-A
*0-A
0+A*
*0-A
*0-A

0+A
*0-A
*0-A
0+A
*0-A
*0-A
*0-A
*0-A
*0-A
*0-A
*0-A
*0-A
*0-A
*0-A
0+A
0+A7
*0-A
0+A7
*0-A

0-A
0-A
0-A

0-A
0-A
0-A

0-A
0-A
NC

*0-A *0-A
0(A) 0+A
0+A *0-A

0(A)* 0+A* 0+A


*0-A *0-A *0-A

*0-A
*0-A

0+A
*0-A
*0-A
*0-A
0+A
0+A
*0-A
0+A
0+A

0+A
*0-A
*0-A
*0-A
0+A
*0-A
*0-A
*0-A
*0-A

0+A6
*0-A
*0-A
0+A
0+A
0+A1
0-A6
*0-A
0+A
*0-A
0+A
0+A
*0-A
0+A
*0-A
0+A
0+A*
0+A6
*o -a '

0+A^ *0-A
*0-A *0-A
*0-A *0-A

the null argument position-agreement survey


189

Sthem
0+A
Kamba
0+A
Kewa
0+A*6
Kiowa
0+A
Kobon
0+A
Kpelle
0+A
Kwaio
0+A
Lenakel
0+A
Luganda
0+A
Madi
0-A
Malagasy
0-A
Malayalam
0+A12Mam
0+A
Manam
0-A
Mandarin
0+A
Mixteco
0+A
Mundari
0-A
Murut
0+A
Mwera
0+A
Nama
0+A
Navaho
0+Alz"
Ngandi
Nimboran
0+A
0+A***
Noni
0+A
Nupe
0+A
Olo
0+A
Paamese
0+A
Papago
Papiamentu *0-A
Quechua
Cochabamba 0+A
0-A
Rao
0+A
Sakao
Sao Tome
0+A***
Creole
Sara-Ngambay 0+A
0+A*2
Sawu
0+A
Shona
0+A
Siroi
0+A
Somali
0-A
Sre
0+A
Swahili
*0-A
Tagalog
0+A
Tamazight
0-A
Thai
0(A)
Tibetan
0+A
Tigak
0+A
Tiwi
0+A
Tolkapaya

Sinf

Simp

EXE

Dobj

NC
0-A
NC
0-A
NC
NC
NC
0-A
0-A
NC
0-A
0-A
NC
NC
NC
NC
NC
0-A
NC
NC
NC
0-A
0-A
NC
NC
NC
NC
0-A

0-A
0-A
0+A
0-A
0-A
0-A
0-A
0-A
0+A
0-A
0-A
0-A
0+A
0-A
0-A
0+A
0-A
0-A
0-A
0+A
0+A
0-A
0-A
0-A
0+A
0-A
0(A)
0-A

NC
NC
NC
NC
NC
NC
0+A
0-A
NC
NC
NC
NC
NC
0-A
NC
0-A
0-A
NC
NC
NC
NC
NC
NC
NC
NC
NC
NC
0-A

0+A *0-A
0-A *0-A
0+A^
0+A
0-A *0-A
0+A *0-A
0+A *0-A
*0-A *0-A
0+A
0+A
*0-A *0-A
0-A *0-A
*0-A *0-A
0+A1*- *0-A
0+A*
o +a 3
0-A *0-A
*0-A *0-A
0+A1*
0+A
0-A *0-A
0+A *0-A
0+A *0-A
0+A *0-A
0+A1*^ 0+A*
*0-A *0-A
*0-A *0-A
0+A *0-A
0+A *0-A
0+A *0-A
0+A5 0+A*
*0-A *0-A

0-A
NC
NC

0-A
0-A
0+A

0-A
0-A
NC
0-A
0-A
0-A
0-A
0-A
NC
NC
NC
0-A
0-A
NC
NC

0-A
0-A
0-A
0-A
0+A
0+A
0-A
0-A
*0-A^
0-A
0-A
0-A
0(A)
0-A
0+A

NC
NC
NC
NC
NC
NC
NC
0+A
NC
NC
0-A
0-A
0+A
0-A
NC
NC
NC
NC

lobj

Poss PPobj
*0-A
*0-A
0+A
0+A
0+A4
0+A4
0+A
*0-A
0+A4
0+A
0-A
0+A
0+A4
0-A4
0+A
0+A1
*0-A
*0-A
*0-A
0+A
0+A
0+A
0+A1
0+A
*0-A
*0-A4
0+A
*0-A

*0-A
*0-A
*0-A
*0-A
*0-A
0+A11
0+A*1
*0-A
0+A7
*0-A
*0-A
0+A
*0-A
*0-A
*0-A
*0-A
*0-A
*0-A
*0-A
0+A
*0-A
0+A
*0-A
*0-A
*0-A
0+An
0+A
*0-A

0+A
0-A
0+A

*0-A
*0-A
*0-A

0+A *0-A
*0-A *0-A
0+A4 o +a m

*0-A
0+A*
0+A1*
0+A5
0+A*
*0-A
*0-A
0+A*
*0-A
0+A
*0-A
0-A
0+A
0+A
0+A

*0-A
0+A*
*0-A
0+A*
0+A*
*0-A
*0-A
0+A*
*0-A
0+A
*0-A
*0-A
*0-A
0+A
*0-A

*0-A
0+A
*0-A
*0-A
*0-A
0+A
*0-A
*0-A
*0-A
0+A1
*0-A
*0-A
0+A4
*0-A
0+A

*0-A
0+A
*0-A
*0-A
*0-A
*0-A
*0-A
*0-A
*0-A
0+An
*0-A
*0-A
0+A**
*0-A
*0-A

chart seven: the null argument position-agreement suryey


(cont.)
190

Sthem
Tondano
0+A
Turkana
0+A16
Turkish
0+A
Vietnamese
0-A
Warao
*0-A
0+A
Waskia
West
Greenlandic 0+A
*0-A
Yebamasa
Yessan-Mayo 0-A
0+A
Yoruba

Sinf

Simp

EXE

Dobj

NC
0-A
0-A
0-A
0-A
NC

0+A
0+A
0-A
0-A
0-A
0+A

NC
NC
0-A
0-A
NC
NC

*0-A
0+A
16 0+A16 0+A6
0-A *0-A
0+A
0-A *0-A *0-A
*0-A *0-A *0-A
0+A17 0+A6
*0-A

*0-A
*0-A
*0-A
*0-A
*0-A
*0-A

0-A
0-A
NC
0-A

0+A
0-A
0-A
0-A

NC
NC
NC
NC

0+A
*0-A
0-A
0+A

*0-A
*0-A
*0-A
*0-A

Iobj

Poss PPobj

0+A

o +a

*0-A
*0-A
*0-A
*0-A

0+A
*0-A
*0-A
*0-A

chart seven: the null argument position-agreement survey


(cont.) .
1):
2):
3):
4):
5):
6):
7):
8):
9):
10):
11):
12):
13):
14):
15):
16):
17):

with kinship terms only


source AGR
goal/animate object AGR
in main clauses only
also benefactive AGR with intransitive V
with kinship and inalienably possessed terms only
adpositions are nominal
in inversion and subordinate contextsonly
third person singular only
primary animate NP AGR
adpositions are verbal
ergative AGR pattern
with psychological predicates only
first person only
also imperatives with obligatorily null subjects
with speech participant-argument
verb gives changes for person of 10
chart seven diacritics
Some of the results in chart six require clarifica

tion.

For instance, it is not obvious how a language

might achieve the 0(A) classification.

According to

Lillo-Martin (1986), American Sign Language has verbs with


agreement morphology (like Italian) as well as verbs
without agreement (like Mandarin).

In general, ASL agree

ment encodes the goal and source NPs, and so an 0+A entry

191

is motivated for the subject (both of tensed and impera


tive sentences), direct object (for two-place predicates)
and indirect object (for three-place predicates).

All

three-place predicates are agreement verbs (Lacy, p.c.),


and so the 0-A possibility is limited to subjects and
direct objects.
Angami, too, has an 0(A) entry for null thematic
subjects of tensed clauses.

Giridhar (1980:59) reports

that only 1stative verbs expressive of emotional or mental


states, processes, attributes take subject agreement
marking.
(26) a.

b.

(a) puo rjupie a-niya


I her
Is-love
I love her
(puo) tefa puo-niya
she dog 3s-love
she loves the dog

(27) a. *(a) kewhira vora


I Kohima come
I come from Kohima
b.

*(puo) kewhira vor mo


she Kohima come NEG
she doesnt come from Kohima

One language in the survey, Finnish, reputedly has


optional agreement marking on infinitives, making this the
only language in the survey to show any agreement on
infinitives.

Though the case may be overstated for Fin

nish, since the agreement marking on its infinitives is


nominal, i.e., the agreement which marks possessors rather
than subjects, there is no reason to vacate the cell,
since verbal agreement is found on infinitives of two
192

languages outside my sample, e.g., in Portuguese and


Hungarian.

I return to this point below.

Papago and Canela-KrahS both have the distinction of


sometimes marking an imperative verb with agreement
marking and sometimes not.

Canela-KrahS marks only a

hard-to-characterize subset of verbs, e.g., startle and be


strong, but not kill, like, or sing (Popje & Popje
1986:158).
(28 ) a .

b.

a-tyj!
2s-strong
'be strong!'
ere!
sing
'sing!'

Papago encodes subject agreement only when the auxiliary


element does not precede the verb.
The final site of the 0(A) entry is in Italian, where
both a clitic-identified direct object and an unidentified
arbitrary direct object are found (Rizzi 1986:503).
(29) a.

b.

il

bel

tempo

la

invoglia 0
i
i
the nice weather 3sfCL induce
[a PRO restare]
i
to
stay
'the nice weather induces her to stay'
il

bel

tempo

invoglia 0

i
the nice weather induce
[a PRO restare]
i
to
stay
'the nice weather induces [one] to stay'
These too are discussed in greater detail below.

193

The diacritic notes to chart six also require some


explanation.

They fall into three different types: those

in which the presence of agreement and/or the null pronoun


is affected by syntactic environment; those in which
agreement is not general; and those in which the agreement
pattern does not fall neatly into the grammatical rela
tions schema I have adopted.

The last of these has the

least interesting repercussions for the present work.

As

well as the previously discussed agreement pattern found


in split-ergative languages and the goal-source pattern of
ASL, I have found such possibilities as benefactive agree
ment with intransitive verbs, and agreement with that
argument which is also a speech participant.
Of slightly greater interest are the second type of
notations, those reporting restricted agreement, e.g.,
indirect object agreement with only psychological predi
cates (Mundari).
agreement.

Two others detail types of possessor

The most interesting of these comments deal

with agreement systems which are restricted to a subset of


the pronoun system.

For instance, the only possibly null

Sao Tome* Creole subjects (Ivens Ferraz 1978:64-5, cited in


section 3.1 above).
Syntactic environment interacting with agreement
and/or null argument positions is reported in two of the
comments.

In Classical Arabic, null subjects are limited

to main clauses.

This means that the 0+A^ entry for

Classical Arabic is counted twice, once to reflect null


194

subjects with agreement in main clauses and once for


obligatorily lexical subjects with agreement in sub
ordinate ones.

Similarly, the fact that nonthematic sub

jects in Icelandic are null in only certain environments


57

means that the 0 + A 0 entry for this language is likewise a


doublet.

These sensibilities are captured in the tables

and charts of the next section without further comment.

3.4

Discussion
The information in chart seven can be briefly

76
1
32
12
56
26
55
21

17
50
72
21
18
0
3
0

*0+A
2
0
0
2
0
0
0
0

NC

9
0
1
0
28
74
42
79

0
50
0
67
0
0
0
0

>

0-A

0
1

Sthem
Sinf
Simp
EXE
Dobj
Iobj
Poss
PPobj

0+A

summarized in the following table.

The information from the first four columns will be placed


in four-cell matrices of the form in (31) for the dis
cussion of each of the argument positions.
(31)

agreement
yes
no
null

0+A

0-A

*null *0+A

*0-A

site
The point of this discussion is to verify that each of the
cells filled in (30) is real.

The cells filled with large

numbers of examples I take at face value; however, there


are quite a few cells filled by only a few.

These in
195

particular are the focus of section 3.4.1.


In section 3.4.2, I amend the chart, based upon
information gleaned from the chart two languages, i.e.,
the IndoEuropean-biased sample which has received the
greatest in depth analysis.
3.4.1

Site by site examination of the types

3.4.1.1

Thematic subjects of finite clauses

All four possible combinations of subject pronouns


and agreement are found in the languages of the survey.
All four have been mentioned in earlier sections of this
work.
(32)

agreement
yes
no
null

76 17

Sthem
*null

total: 104
four doublets: three 0(A)-ASL
Angami
Tibetan
one 0+A -Classical Arabic
The type of language with null thematic subjects and
agreement, along with its counterpart, where both are
lacking, forms the basis for all work on null subjects.
Perhaps surprising is the frequency of languages like
Italian (Rizzi 1982:117).
(33)

0 verr^
come/FUT/3s
he/she/it will come'

The inverse type is exemplified by nine languages in my


sample, among them Papiamentu.
196

(34)

Is
2s
3s
lp
2p
3p

* (m i )
I
*( b o )
*(&)
*(nos)
*(boso)
*(nan)

ta
PROG
ta
ta
ta
ta
ta

bini
come
bini
bini
bini
bini
bini

'I am
etc.

Similar evidence is available for the other languages of


this type.

Cf. Vaquero 1965:137 for an extremely direct

statement of the situation in Warao.


A third type is familiar from Huang's analysis of
Mandarin: languages with null subjects but no agreement
(Huang 1984:537).
(35)

Zhangsan

shuo [0
i

bu

renshi Lisi]

Z
say
NEG know
L
'Zhangsan said that he did not know Lisi'
I count seventeen languages of this sort in my sample, all
of which occur in south and east Asia or Oceania.
The fourth type has the least number of examples.
The data is unmistakable, however.

Icelandic, for in

stance, displays a complete agreement paradigm yet


thematic subjects are never null.
(36)

3.4.1.2

Is
2s
3s
lp
2p
3p

*(eg)
*(/&u)
*(hann)
*(vi%)
*(i^&)
*(eir)

hef, hefi
hefur, hefir
hefur, hefir
h&fum
hafi^
hafa

'I have'
etc.

Subjects of nonfinite sentences

Though I have not previously discussed the criteria


for the finite-nonfinite distinction, the dividing line
seems most clear: the presence or absence of tense and/or
197

aspect.

The nonfinite verb class is generally understood

to include infinitival and participial forms, though only


the former were surveyed.

In part, this exclusion

reflects the fact that participial subjects do not quite


mirror the behavior of null infinitival subjects, e.g.,
participial subjects are more commonly lexical.
A second reason for restricting the survey to in
finitives is the fact that it is often more difficult to
decide whether a particular form is a nonfinite participle
or a verbal nominal.
subtle.

This distinction can be quite

To clearly qualify as a nonfinite verb, a form

should demonstrate verbal behavior (e.g., verbal agreement


markers or the ability to assign verbal Case) and not
nominal behavior (e.g., being itself Casemarked, assigning
nominal Case, or taking nominal modifiers).

In many in

stances, forms have both types of properties; in other


cases, the data is hard to come by.

It is generally more

apparent with infinitival forms, since these receive sig


nificant detailing even in the poorest of grammars.
Many languages apparently do without finite verb
forms altogether, the load being carried by finite and
nominalized forms instead.

Such an example is Cherokee,

where every verb carries person-number marking and


subordinate forms are nominalized.
(37)

aya akwa:-tu:l-i arkwa:-hnik-i:st-i


I
Is-want-PRES ls-leave-lNF-NML
I want that I should leave'

198

(Cook 1979:127 compares the final vowel in (37) with the


marker found on agentive nominals and base nouns, e.g.,
khane:ki 'speaker'.)

Languages with this combination of

verb forms are not relevant and have been excluded from
the four-cell matrix.
Given these definitions and restrictions, only two
cells are exemplified in the survey.
(38)

agreement
yes
no
null

50

*null

Sinf
total: 101
NC: 50
one doublet: 0(A)-Finnish
Among the relevant forms, that most commonly encountered,
e.g., in the Swahili example below, is the bare infini
tival without agreement.
(39)

Juma a-na-taka
ku-ondoka
J
3s-PRES-want INF-leave
'Juma wants to leave'

Rather exceptional is Finnish.


(40) a.

poika

yritta-a
i

PRO

kirjoitt-aa kirje-en
i

boy
try-PRES/3s
write-INF
letter-ACC
'the boy is trying to write the letter'
b.

tule l&hemm&ksi nSh-dS-kse-ni


sin-ut
come closer
see-INF-TRNL-lsPOSS 2s-ACC
'come closer so that I may see you'

It is not extremely obvious that the subordinate form in


(40b) is entirely verbal, however.

The agreement form is

nominal and the inflected infinitive is marked with


nominal case; yet the infinitive does assign accusative
199

case.

A clearer case will be discussed in section 3.4.2,

though this must suffice for now.


3.4.1.3

Imperative subjects

This EC is much like the previous one, in as much as


it is generally assumed to fall outside null pronoun
phenomena, and also in terms of the distribution which the
survey reports.
(41)

agreement
yes
no
null

32

72

*null

Simp
total: 105
five doublets: four 0(A)-ASL
Canela-KrahS
Papago
Tigak
one *0-A*** -Tagalog
It is also like the previous null pronoun because I have
not adequately defined the site beforehand.

For the most

part, I have relied upon a functional definition of imperatives--they are the forms used when giving an order-and in most languages, this suffices.

But a finer dis

tinction is required for languages, e.g., the Romance


family, where direct (impolite) orders take one form of
verb stems and indirect (polite) orders or requests
another.

In these cases, the imperative form which only

can be used for orders has been chosen as representative.


There are but two major types of null pronoun-agree
ment combinations uncovered by the survey: languages with

200

null imperative subjects and agreement, e.g., Guaranf*


(Canese 1983:138), and those with null imperative subjects
but no agreement, e.g., Finnish.
(42)

0 e-ju-na
ape!
2s-come-P0L here
come here please!

(43)

0 odota t&nne
wait here
wait here!

Actually, each of these types has a subtype, in which the


verb receives an imperative marker.

The significance of

these subtypes are discussed in chapter four.


There is also a minor type, with but a single example
in my sample, Tagolog.

Schachter & Otanes (1972:402)

report that in one type of imperative in this language,


the basic imperative, the subject is obligatorily lexical.
(44)

walisan mo ang sahig


sweep
you
floor
sweep the floor

There are other imperatives in which the subject does not


appear, however, e.g., the immediate imperative (Schachter
& Otanes 1972:403).
(45)

alis 0 (na)
leave
now
leave now

Unable to decide which is the more basic form, I have


classified Tagalog as a doubling language.
3.4.1.4

Nonthematic arguments

As with subjects of infinitives, discussed in section


3.3.2.2, there are a large number of "not conclusive"

201

entries for this null pronoun site.

However, in this

case, the NC entries do not reflect the lack of nonthematic subjects in these languages; rather, the high
number of languages classified as irrelevant is more the
result of incomplete source materials.
With this caveat, there are only three different
types exemplified in the languages of the survey.
(46)

agreement
yes
no
null

12

21

*null

EXE
total: 102
NC: 67
two doublets: 0+A -Classical Arabic
0+A -Icelandic
Again, the null variety accompanied by agreement is very
familiar from studies of the Pro-drop parameter.

An exam

ple of this type is Classical Arabic, at least in main


clauses.
(47) a.

b.

0 yabduu ?anna ?al-?awlaad-a saafaruu


seems that the-boys-ACC travelled
'it seems that the boys travelled'
qaala ?aHmad-un ?anna-hu ya-bd-uu...
said Ahmed-NOM that-it 3sm-seem-3sm...
'Ahmed said that it seems...'

In subordinate clauses, where the complementizer ?anna


assigns accusative Case, a nonthematic subject is lexical,
however, thus exemplifying a second type.
The third type of language found in my sample has
null nonthematic subjects, like Arabic, but no agreement.
In the Mandarin example (48), from Li (1985:248), the
202

evidence for a null nonthematic subject is strong: the


verb is sentence-initial, even though this order is un
grammatical in other declaratives.
(48)

0 you yige ren tang-zai chuang-shang


have one man lie at bed
on
there is a man lying on the be d

This type is further exemplified by agreementless


languages without null pronouns, like Papiamentu (49), and
languages which lack agreement only in null nonthematic
subject constructions, like example (50) from Fula (Arnott
1970:244).
(49) a. *(mi) tin e
I
have it
I have i t '
b.

(50) a.

b.

0 tin un homber na porta


have a man
at door
there is a man at the door
0 'o-woodi cfawri secfcfa
3s-has
corn some
'he has a little corn'
0 woodi cfawri secfcfa
has
corn some
'there is a little corn'

Note that the fourth cell is empty in my survey, even


though it is well-known that English is such a type.

return to this point in section 3.4.2.


3.4.1.5

Direct objects

Three combinations of agreement and pronominal direct


objects were reported in the survey.

203

(51)

agreement
yes
no
null

56

18

*null

28

Dobj
total 102
two doublets: 0(A)-ASL
Italian
Only the no-yes cell is empty, but this type is found only
with subjects, as a careful scan of the table in (30)
reveals.
Null direct objects with agreement are found in
Cochabamba Quechua, for instance.
(52)

qan (noqa-ta) apa-wa-rqa-nki


you I-ACC
carry-ls0-PST-2sS
'you carried m e 1

Yoruba exemplifies a type with neither.


(53)

baba
fun *(awa) ni owo
father gave
us
in money
'father gave us money'

The third type has pronominally interpreted gaps


without there being any agreement.

These come in three

subtypes, one in which the null pronoun is definite in


reference, e.g., Mandarin (Huang 1984:537);
(54)

Zhangsan shuo Lisi bu renshi (ta)


Zhangsan say Lisi NEG know
him
'Zhangsan said that Lisi did not know him'

a second in which it is arbitrary in reference, e.g.,


Italian (Rizzi 1986a:503).
(55)

il bel tempo
invoglia 0 a restare
the nice weather induce
to stay
'the nice weather induces [arb] to stay'

204

and a third in which the null direct object may be ar


bitrary or definite, e.g., Cape York Creole (Crowley &
Rigsby 1979:188-190).
(56)

3.4.1.6

dog i bin bait-im


0
dog
PST bite-TRNS
'the dog bit him/them/[arb]'
Indirect objects

The results for indirect objects are quite different


from any thus far encountered.
(57)

agreement
yes
no
null

26

*null

74

Iobj
total: 100
Only two types exist: languages with agreement and null
pronouns, e.g., Basque (Saltarelli et al 1983:486); and
those lacking both, e.g., Guarani (Canese 1983:57).
(58)

zu-k
(a-ri) liburu-a irakur-ri d-io-zu
you-ERG her-DAT book-ACC read-lPRET 3sA-3sD-2sE
'you have read the book to her'

(59)

ha'e o-me'e *(cheve) avati


3sS 3s-give
3sI0
corn
'he gives me corn'

This situation differs from that of direct objects in


terms of the yes-no type: with indirect objects there are
none.

This might appear to due to the relative difficulty

of satisfying the criteria for null indirect objects.


That is, although most if not all languages allow a
generic or arbitrary interpretation in the absence of an
overt indirect object, the evidence for agreementless null
205

indirect objects is not as obvious as the data for direct


objects because indirect objects rarely and only mar
ginally act as controllers.

This hardly explains the

absolute dearth of such examples in the survey, however.


Note that agreementless null indirect objects, even
in languages which have agreementless direct objects, fail
to pass the syntactic reality test.

In Mandarin, an overt

pronominal indirect object may control the subject of a


purposive clause, but the corresponding sentence with a
null indirect object is ungrammatical.
(60) a.

b.

wo song ta

0du 0
i
3 i
3
I send him book read
fI sent hima book
to read

*wo song 0 shu


i

shu

0 du 0
i
3

This contrast is easily explained if indirect objects


cannot be null in Mandarin.
3.4.1.7

Possessive pronouns

The distribution of agreement and agreement types for


this pronoun site is parallel to that of direct objects.
(61)

agreement
yes
no
null

55

Poss
*null

0 42

total: 100
Quite a few languages have agreement with this argument,
though there is a significant amount of variation in the
productivity of this agreement within these languages.
206

Most place agreement on all NPs, e.g., Finnish; others


mark only kinship and inalienably possessed terms, e.g.,
Daga (Murane 1974:32,199); a few mark only kinship items,
e.g., Mundari (Sinha 1975:114-115).
(62) a.

b.

(sin-un) lapse-si
2s-GEN child-2sP0SS
'your child'
Pekka

katkais-i-0

i
Pekka break-PST-3s
'Pekka broke his arm'
c.

(63) a.

arm-3sP0SS

(min-un) auto-ni
ls-GEN car-lsPOSS
'my car'
mama-na
0
father-lsPOSS
'my father'

b.

yam-e
0
eye-3sP0SS
'his eye'

c.

gutut ne-ga
story I-GEN
'my story'

(64) a.

kSte-ns&
i

0 boko-ii)
brother-2sP0SS
'my brother'

b.

Samu-a? kasur
Samu-GEN guilt
'Samu's guilt'

c.

Soma Munda-?
uri?
some Munda-GEN cattle
'some Munda's cattle'

The no-no type is also well-documented.

In Imbabura

Quechua, for instance, there are neither null possessive


pronouns or possessor agreement, even though such a

207

pattern is found in other dialects of Quechua (Cole


1982:115).
(65) a. *(pay-paj) wasi
he-GEN
house
'his house'
b.

(pay-pa) wayi-n
he-GEN house-lsPOSS
'his house'

Imbabura Quechua

Ancash Quechua

The final type, languages with null possessors but no


agreement, presents a challenge to both analyses.

As

before, this type is represented by Mandarin (Huang


1982:349), though it is also found in languages which
otherwise lack topic-identification, e.g., Finnish
(Whitney 1977:142).
(66) a. Zhangsan zai xi
shou
Zhangsan at wash hand
'Zhangsan is washing [his] hands'
b.

(67)

Zhangsan, baba
hen youqian
Zhangsan, father very rich
'Zhangsan, [his] father is very rich'
tule, sanoi
come say
'come, said
into the

t&ti k&hvi& kuppeihin kaataessaan


aunt coffee cup
pour
(her) aunt as she poured coffee
cups'

What is interesting about this type is the odd restriction


that the possessed NP be a kinship or inalienable term.

3.4.1.8

Adpositional objects

In this site, as was the case with indirect objects,


only two cells are filled.

208

(68)

agreement
yes
no
null

21

*null

79

PPobj
total: 100
At least a few of the languages in the yes-yes cell have
null objects of true adpositions, e.g., Irish (McCloskey &
Hale 1985:507),

though others

in theyes-yes cell,

Hixkaryana(Derbyshire 1979:116)

e.g.,

appear tohavenominal

forms which are used in a locative sense.


(69)

bhi me ag
caint leofa
(3 inne
was I PROG talk with/3p
yesterday
'I was talking to [them] yesterday'

(70)

eryewtoako (3 ro-hana-ka
sit down
IsPOSS-side-to
'sit down at my side!'

The second type, in which there is neither agreement nor a


null pronoun, is to common to exemplify.
3.4.1.9

Summary

Before proceeding further, a brief summary of these


results is in order.

The situation, in a nutshell, is

this: my survey has uncovered the types marked positive


(+) in (71).
0+A
Sthem
Sinf
Simp
EXE
Dobj
Iobj
Poss
PPobj

+
+
+
+
+
+
+
+

*0-A

*0+A

0-A
+
+
+
+
+
+
-

+
-

+
-

+
-

+
+
+
+
+

209

3.4.2

New types in an IndoEuropean biased sample


As in the survey of the previous chapter, I compare

my results with those of other surveys.

In this as in the

chapter two survey, such a comparison points out the


shortcomings of the narrow survey, e.g., distributional
problems.

In this instance, however, the narrower survey

also makes a positive contribution: it not only uncovers


two types overlooked in the larger survey but detailed
information about particularly interesting types.
The major difficulty with making this comparison is
that no comparable survey has been conducted.

I have

supplemented the literature on these languages where


necessary, and the results of my survey of these languages
appear in chart eight on the following page.
Once the doublets

0(A) and *0(A) are distributed,

e.g., one 0(A) is counted as one 0+A and one 0-A, and
doublets indicated by the diacritics in chart seven are
resolved, the results reduce to the table in (72), below.
0+A
Sthem
Sinf
Simp
EXE
Dobj
Iobj
Poss
PPobj

14
2
0
11
8
6
6
4

0-A
1
17
21
3
8
1
1
1

*0+A
9
0
0
5
0
0
0
0

*0-A
2
0
0
6
10
14
14
16

NC
0
4
0
2
0
0
0
0

When this table is compared to the one in (30), repeated


below, there are three obvious differences.

First, the

chart two survey omits imperatives with agreement.

This

210

Sthem
Arabic
Bani-Hassan 0+A
0+A
Levantine
0+A
Chamorro
Dutch: A
*0+A
B
*0+A
English
*0(A)
West Flemish 0+A*'
French
0+A
modern
old
0+A*
German
*0+A
standard
Bavarian
0+A3*
0+A
Hausa
Hebrew
0+A
*0+A
Icelandic
Irish
0+A
Italian
0+A
Mandarin
0-A
Quechua
0+A
Imbabura
Portuguese
European
0+A
Brazilian
0+A
Spanish
0+A
Swedish
*0-A

EXE

Dobj

Iobj

Poss PPobj

0-A
0-A
0-A
0-A
0-A
0-A
0-A

0+A1
0+A
NC
*0-A
0-A*
*0+A
0+Ax

0+A
0+A
0-A
*0-A
*0-A
*0-A
*0-A

*0-A
*0-A
*0-A
*0-A
*0-A
*0-A
*0-A

0+A
0+A
0+A
*0-A
*0-A
*0-A
*0-A

0+A
0+A
*0-A
*0-A
*0-A
*0-A
*0-A

0-A
0-A

0-A
0-A

*0-A
0(A)
0+A* *0-A

0+A
0+A

*0-A
*0-A

0-A
*0-A

0-A
0-A
0-A
NC
0-A
0-A
0-A
NC

0-A
0-A
0-A
0-A
0-A
0-A
0-A
0-A

0-A* 0-A
0-A* *0-A
0+A
0-A
0+A
0+A
0+A *0-A
NC *0-A
0+A
0(A)
0-A
0-A

*0-A
*0-A
*0-A
*0-A
*0-A
*0-A
0+A
*0-A

*0-A
*0-A
0+A
0+A
*0-A
0+A
*0-A
0-A

*0-A
*0-A
*0-A
0+A
*0-A
0+A
*0-A
*0-A

0-A

0+A

NC

*0-A

*0-A

*0-A

0(A)
0(A)
0-A
0-A

0-A
0-A
0-A
0-A

0+A
0+A
0+A
*0-A

0(A) 0+A
0(A) 0+A
0(A)3 0+A
*0-A *0-A

*0-A
*0-A
*0-A
*0-A

*0-A
*0-A
*0-A
*0-A

Sinf

Simp

NC
NC
0-A
0-A
0-A
0-A
0-A

0+A

(1): main clauses only


(2): lexical when initial in main clauses
(3): some agreementless null pronouns must be indefinite
chart eight: agreement and null pronouns for chart 2
languages
discovery is not entirely unexpected, given the presence
of inflected (sub junctive) imperative forms in many of the
chart two languages , but it is significant nevertheless.
(30)
Sthem
Sinf
Simp
EXE
Dobj
Iobj
Poss
PPobj

0+A
76
1
32
12
56
26
55
21

0-A
17
50
71
21
18
0
3
0

*0+A
2
0
0
2
0
0
0
0

*0-A
9
0
1
0
28
74
42
79

NC
0
50
0
67
0
0
0
0
211

The second difference is an omission of the opposite


variety: namely, two cells filled in by the smaller survey
which went undetected in the larger survey.

The first of

these is the agreementless null objects of adpositions in


modern French, which is unlike anything found in the
larger survey.

Zribi-Hertz (1985) has reported that many

prepositions in French may lack a surface argument if


there is an appropriate antecedent.
(73)

cette valise , je voyage toujours avec 0


i
i
this suitcase I travel always
with
'this suitcase, I always travel with it'

These supposed null pronouns are definite in interpreta


tion, obligatorily inanimate, and demonstrably do not
involve WH-movement, according to Zribi-Hertz.
The second new cell is the lexical nonthematic sub
ject without agreement, exemplified by six languages in
chart eight: Dutch A, Dutch B, modern French, Swedish (the
example below from Platzack 1987), and, when the
nonthematic subject is initial in main clauses, Bavarian
and standard German as well.
(74)

regnade *(det) i gar?


rain/PST it
yesterday
'did it rain yesterday?'

The third obvious difference between the surveys is a


new subtype of agreementless null direct object.

During

the discussion of this type in the larger survey, it was


noted that there are in fact three subtypes, the definite
null objects of Mandarin, Italian arbitrary null objects,

212

and the definite/arbitrary objects of Cape York Creole.


To this list I now add the null indefinite direct objects
of Spanish noted by Jaeggli (1982) and Campos (1986).
(Example from Campos 1986:355.)
(75) a.

Juan traera cerveza

la

fiesta?

i
Juan bring beer
to the party
will Juan bring beer to the party?
b.

su

novia

me dijo que

traerlTa 0

i
his girlfriend me told that bring
his girlfriend told me that he would bring
some
One additional point which arises only in connection
with the smaller survey merits attention.

This is the

classification of modern French vis-a-vis null subject of


finite clauses.

In chart eight, modern French is listed

as a NSL, whereas nearly all analysts of null argument


phenomena classify it as a nonNSL.
The classification of modern French in chart eight is
quite reasonable, given the criteria in (22) and (23) from
section 3.2.3 plus the fact that pronominal subjects in
French are clitics.
(76)

j 'ai
deja
repu
1 invitation
ls+have already received the+invitation
I have received the invitation already

Je, which appears in an abbreviated clitic form in (76),


v- v

is a dependent form which carries first person singular


information about the subject.

It furthermore satisfies

both the dependency and suppletion tests for agreement; it


is an obligatorily dependent form (e.g., it cannot be

213

separated from INFL by the adverb in (77) and it is easily


distinguishable from the strong subject pronoun moi.
(77)

*je deja ai regu 1'invitation

The fact that it does not also satisfy the cooccurrence


test for agreement is not particularly damaging, when one
considers that Irish agreement also behaves in this manner
(cf. McCloskey & Hale 1984 for details).
Note also that the only items which may intervene
between the subject clitic and the auxiliary in INFL are
other components of INFL, e.g., a negation marker.
(78)

je n'ai
pas encore paye la note
Is NEG+have NEG yet
paid the bill
'I haven't yet paid the bill1

If je in these examples is truly an agreement form,


then the true structure of (76) is as follows, where the
agreement is located inside the head which governs the
empty subject position.
(79)

[ [ 0] [
je+ai]
IP NP
INFL

[ deja regu 1'invitation]]


VP

The arguments that French is not an NSL come in two


varieties: an analysis-specific type and a more absolute
sort.

An example of the first is the insistence that

French must be a nonNSL because it does not have subject


inversion (of the Spanish sort) or that-t filter viola
tions.

Of course, this argument is only as valid as the

analysis it is based upon.

A similar argument is made in

Kayne (1983), where it is suggested that French complex


inversion is incompatible with the option of null subjects.

214

More compelling evidence is presented in Rizzi


(1986b), who insists that the confusion arises because
there are two sources for clitics: those which are syn
tactically generated on heads and those which cliticize
only in the phonological component (PF).

Since the condi

tions which allow null pronouns must be met at s-structure


or LF, two levels which are not affected by PF rules, only
syntactic clitics act as agreement.

French has

phonological clitics, however.


Rizzi presents two strong arguments for this claim.
As a prelude to the first, he notes that a pronoun cannot
be locally bound by a (nonlexically-restricted) quanti
fier.

This explains the failure of (80a), where a clitic

identifies a null direct object bound by a quantifier, but


allows the cliticless counterpart, where the direct object
EC is a pure variable instead.
(80) a. *tutto

lo
diro10 alia
polizia
i
i
i
everything 3smD0.CL I/say
to/the police
'everything, I told it to the police1

b.

tutto

diro1 0 alia polizia


i
i
'everything, I told to the police'

In the Trentino dialect of Italian, a subject clitic may


cooccur with a quantifier because that subject clitic is a
syntactic clitic which agrees with the subject quantifier.
(81)

tut

0 1' e
capita' de nut
i
i
everything
3s+has happen in night
'everything happened in the night'

215

In French, the opposite state holds, because the subject


clitic is not an agreement form, but rather a pronoun
which has phonologically cliticized.
(82)

*tout

il est arrive hier


i
i
everything 3s has arrived yesterday
'everything happened yesterday'

The second argument concerns facts of coordination.

In

Trentino, the clitic (like agreement on a verb) must be


doubled in coordinate structures; in French, the clitic
need only accompany the first conjunct.
(83) a.

b.

la canta e
*(la) balla
3sf sing and 3sf dance
'she sings and (she) dances'
elle chante et danse
3sf sing
and dance
'she sings and dances'

This contrast receives a simple analysis if the Trentino


clitic is a syntactically bound form and the French clitic
phonological.
I have pursued this lengthy digression because it
strikes a note which simultaneously threatens the validity
of the survey and plays a central role in my analysis.
The surface survey gives one result but in depth investi
gation yields the opposite.

Clearly, if this case is

repeated in many instances, whole types may be overlooked


or mistakenly posited, and the generalizations that I
depend upon, hence the entire enterprise, invalid.
Partly, I have guarded against this possibility with
the relatively large size of my sample; a second safeguard

216

has been the constant cross-checking I have employed


throughout this section's discussion of the types.

Where

a type exists, in whatever numbers, I have been careful to


reconfirm the facts via in depth investigation into at
least one language of that type.

Thus, I think it is safe

to conclude that the number of misclassifications is in


significant: although there may be errors in the survey
results, they do not affect the listing of types given in
(72).
The second reason for this discussion of French is
because it forms an introduction to the methods which are
utilized in the remainder of this investigation.

In the

final chapters, the same techniques of in depth analysis


and reanalysis are directed at the types which are not
obviously predicted by the agreement hypotheses.
3.5 Comparison of types with predictions of theories
When the new types uncovered by the smaller survey
are added to the inventory established by the larger
survey (cf. the chart (71) in section 3.4.1.9), the
results are as indicated in the following chart, where a

Sthem
Sinf
Simp
EXE
Dobj
Iobj
Poss
PPobj

0+A

0
1
>

positive entry (+) indicates the presence of a type.

+
+
+
+
+
+
+
+

+
+
+
+
+

+
+

*0+A
-

+
-

*0-A
+
-

+
+
+
+
+
+
217

I presume that any adequate theory of null pronouns must


account for these distributions.
3.5.1

Analysis by analysis comparison


The main goal of this chapter is a measure of how the

predictions of the various hypotheses compare with the


actual data.

The build up has been an extensive task, but

now given the types in (84), the task of comparison is


clear and simple.
3.5.1.1

Taraldsens generalization

First is Taraldsen's generalization, which predicts


only two types of languages: those where agreement
coincides with the option of null pronouns; and those
where the lack of agreement cooccurs with obligatorily
lexical pronouns.

That is, according to Taraldsen, each

pronoun site should test positive for the entirety of both


the 0+A and *0-A columns and only these columns.
For the most part, the first half of Taraldsens
prediction rings true.

In the 0+A and *0-A columns, only

the lack of a lexical alternative to PRO requires explana


tion.

Considering that Taraldsen never included these

null arguments within his analysis of Pro-drop phenomena,


this exception might not be significant.

Note, however,

that the success of Taraldsens generalization to predict


null pronouns in all of the other sites in a fairly ade
quate way demonstrates that the extension of his generali
zation to all null pronouns is correct.
218

The second half of Taraldsens predictions is far


less successful: seven of the eight cells in the 0-A
column tested positive as did two others in the *0+A
column.
3.5.1.2

Huang's generalization

Huang's analysis of Pro-drop predicts four scenarios:


languages with optionally null subjects and rich agree
ment; others with optionally null subjects but no agree
ment; another type with obligatorily nonnull pronouns and
degenerate agreement; and a final class with optionally
null nonsubjects and rich agreement.

These classifica

tions overlap to some degree, i.e., the third type may or


may not cooccur with the others.
Huang, like Taraldsen, correctly predicts that the
0+A column should be positive for all sites.

Unlike

Taraldsen, he also correctly predicts that the 0-A column


should be positive for subjects and the *0-A column posi
tive for nonsubjects.

The first of these claims repre

sents an extension of Taraldsen's analysis, but the second


actually points out a shortcoming of Huang's approach.
According to Huang, the only obligatorily lexical
subjects occur in languages in which there is degenerate
agreement, like English or French.

Where there is no

agreement, as in Mandarin, he argues that Control theory


operates to identify null subjects of subordinate clauses.
But the fact is that there are many languages which lack

219

agreement yet have obligatorily lexical pronominal sub


jects, e.g., Papiamentu, cited in section 3.4.1.1.

Even

in the core structure in which Huang posits null subjects


in Mandarin, i.e., null subordinate subjects c-commanded
by coreferential subjects, Papimentu does not allow null
thematic pronouns.
(85)

Maria

sa
i

ku

*(e)

ta sabi
i

Maria know that she be smart


Maria knows that she is smart1
The fact that Papiamentu and eight others in my sample are
counterexamples to Huangs generalization does not alter
the fact that he does correctly predict the Mandarin type;
it indicates only that his explanation of null subjects in
Mandarin is too general, such that it leads to a wrong
prediction concerning the Papiamentu type.
The other counterexamples to Huangs generalization
are shared with Taraldsen: the two positive cells in the
*0+A column and the two positive nonsubject cells in the
0-A column.
Note one other problem with Huangs approach.

Unlike

Taraldens hypotheses, Huang makes no mention of non


thematic subjects.

Apparently, this is because to

recognize a null nonthematic subject in Mandarin would


introduce one more counterexample: these null subjects are
not identified by a c-commanding coreferential subject, of
course.

220

3.5.1.3

Pesetsky and Rizzi on 'richness of inflection

Pesetsky's generalization supplements Taraldsenfs in


a quite restricted manner: where agreement is weak, only
null nonthematic (but not thematic) subjects should be
possible.

Thus, Dutch (B) has only null nonthematic pro

nouns becuase the Dutch agreement system is too weak to


support null thematic pronouns.

Indeed, the Dutch agree

ment system is quite incomplete (Donaldson 1984:113).


(86)

Is
2s
3s
lp
2p
3p

ik
werk
jij
werkt
hij,zij, het werkt
wij
werken
jullie
werken
zij
werken

'I work'
etc.

Pesetsky's analysis does not fill in another cell in


(84).

Rather, it accounts for the difference between two

types of languages, e.g., Spanish, which allows a full


range of null subjects, and Dutch, which does not.
However, even in this respect his analysis is faulty.

It

simply cannot be the case that all languages which allow


only nonthematic subjects to be null have poor agreement,
especially Icelandic.

When the Dutch, Icelandic, and

Spanish agreement systems are compared, it is difficult to


understand how both the Dutch and the Icelandic paradigms
can be characterized as weak, when the Icelandic agreement
markers in (87) are every bit as distinct as the marking
on imperfect verbs in Spanish, (88).

221

(87)

Is
2s
3s
lp
2p
3p

*(eg)
*(/u)
*(hann)
*(vi^&)
*(y&i*&)
*(^eir)

hef, hefi
hefur,hefir
hefur,hefir
htifum
hafi%
hafa

(88)

Is
2s
3s
lp
2p
3p

(yo)
cantaba
(tu)
cantabas
(l,ella)
cantaba
(nosotros)
cantabamos
(vosotros)
cant^bais
(ellos,ellas) cantaban

'I sang'
etc.

Though these facts do not remove the possibility that


'richness of inflection' may be involved in the dif
ferences between Spanish and Icelandic, there are other
facts which make the notion almost vacuous with respect to
the Spanish-Icelandic difference.

As noted in chapter

one, Bavarian and standard German have the same agreement


paradigm, yet only Bavarian German allows null thematic
subjects.

I conclude, therefore, that Pesetsky's addendum

to Taraldsen's hypothesis is incorrect.


Rizzi (1986a) also makes a claim concerning the role
of 'richness of inflection' in the analysis of null
thematic and nonthematic pronouns.

He too correlates rich

agreement with null thematic subjects and poor agreement


with null nonthematic subjects, though with two differ
ences.

First, he states that rich agreement is speci

fication for person and number and that poor agreement is


specification for neither.

Furthermore, he does not per

sist that agreement is solely responsible for null pro


nouns; thus, his analysis is capable of making the dis
tinction between Bavarian and standard German on the basis
222

of some principle independent of agreement.

I discuss

this dual-principle approach to null pronouns in the


following subsection.
3.5.2

Ramifications for the remainder of the thesis


So it seems that neither of the agreement hypotheses

is at first compatible with all of the cells in (84).


This does not mean that the agreement hypothesis is funda
mentally flawed, though it does point out a rather large
number of areas in which improvement should be expected.
Making these improvements is thus the goal of the remain
der of this dissertation.
Following the survey of chapter two, I might have
concluded that a similar reconciliation of counterexamples
with the basic intuitions of the pro-drop parameter was
motivated.

But the two situations are not as parallel as

they might seem.

Had the reanalysis of the Pro-drop

Parameter proceeded, we would at the end have a far


greater understanding of the correlated phenomena, e.g.,
of subject inversions and that-t filter violations, but
also, given this focus, a concomitant lack of inquiry into
the property underlying null pronouns.

All we could know

absolutely is that the correlated phenomena are truly


correlated.

As the many PDP researchers have demon

strated, there are any number of possible properties which


explain null pronouns which can be made compatible with
those correlated phenomena.

223

In this survey, however, the emphasis from the very


outset has rested upon the property (or properties) essen
tial to null pronouns.

Thus, though the agreement hypo

thesis has demonstrated only moderate predictive success,


it is at least clear that the present line of research
bears directly upon the analysis of null pronouns.
Furthermore, the distribution of the data offers the pos
sibility that the agreement hypothesis, in some form, may
be reconciled with its counterexamples.
The results of the survey show the wisdom of such a
view in at least two ways.

The distribution of non

thematic pronouns makes it obvious that they are not


dependent upon agreement in any sense.

This means that no

theory which depends solely upon agreement can suffice.


Note also that the Bavarian-standard German quandry forces
the same conclusion.
Rizzi has arrived at the same conclusion from a more
theoretical perspective.

Noting that all other ECs must

satisfy two requirements, e.g., a WH-trace or NP-trace is


licensed by the ECP, but the identity of the traces is
supplied by their respective antecedents, he proposes that
pro, the null pronoun, must also.

The familiar require

ment he terms identification, which corresponds to the


condition that agreement cooccur with a null pronoun, at
least in the case of null subjects in the Romance
languages.

The other requirement, which states the

224

structural conditions an EC must satisfy, e.g., the ECP,


Rizzi terms licensing.
Leaving aside the details of the licensing require
ment, it is conceptually clear how Rizzifs two-pronged
analysis explains certain of the counterexamples.
Bavarian German clearly satisfies the licensing require
ment; standard German does not.

Furthermore, as I will

subsequently argue, it might be the case that nonthematic


subjects are lexical precisely where the licensing condi
tions are not met.
In the fifth chapter, I explore the principles under
lying licensing.

Constraining this analysis, of course,

are the phenomena discussed in the preceding paragraphs.


Note that the success of this analysis makes a significant
contribution towards the reconciliation effort.
The remaining problems find solution in the identifi
cation principles.

In chapter four, I begin with a consi

deration of the core cases of agreement-identification,


characterize the conditions under which AGR-ID proceeds,
and then apply these principles to the counterexamples in
the 0-A column of (85).

In certain cases, I argue that

the agreementless null pronouns can be analyzed within the


same domain as null pronouns identified by agreement,
though the set of identifiers must be enlarged.

In other

cases, I recongize that no analysis constrained by my


enlarged theory of identification is possible, and I

225

conclude that the pronominally interpreted gaps in


question are not null pronouns.
Success in characterizing the identification prin
ciples eliminates seven more cells in (84) which are
problematic for the more restricted agreement hypothesis.
In these ways, the remaining counterexamples to the agree
ment hypothesis are eliminated, either by incorporating
them within an expanded identification hypothesis or
denying them.

226

4.0

Identification and null pronouns

As stated in the concluding remarks of the previous


chapter, the goal of this chapter is to explain certain of
the mismatches between the predictions of the agreement
hypothesis and the results of the two surveys from the
previous chapter (my one hundred language survey and the
Indo-European biased survey), in particular those types in
which null pronouns apparently occur without agreement.
My general approach depends upon a general theory of
identification, of which the agreement hypothesis is one
small part.

In developing this theory, I incorporate all

but two of the counterexamples into that general theory of


identification; those two are reanalyzed as something
other than null pronouns.
As a starting point for my theory of identification,
I provide a formal characterization of identification by
agreement

in the first section of this chapter.

In

particular, it is suggested that null pronouns are dis


tinct from traces in as much as they are governed by their
identifiers.

The first expansion of the theory of identi

fication occurs in section 4.2, to explain null pronouns


with definite interpretations in languages without agree
ment, e.g., Mandarin.

Huang's explanation of null

subjects in Mandarin is criticized on both empirical and


theoretical grounds, and a more adequate analysis, which
assumes that the identifier must govern the null subject,
is presented.
227

In section 4.3, the discussion turns to PRO, the null


subject of infinitives, which I argue is a pure pronoun.
This analysis requires no change in the domain of identi
fication, though it requires that the notion 'identifica
tion' be defined independently of pronominal features.
Next, the theory of identification is extended to other
null arbitrary elements, including the agreementless null
objects in Italian analyzed by Rizzi (1986a) and arbitrary
null pronouns in English derived nominals.

Section 4.4

also contains a reanalysis of orphan prepositions in


French, which I argue to be arbitrary null locatives.
Section 4.5 addresses null indefinite pronouns, which
I claim are identified by incompletely specified elements.
I then close this chapter with a summary of the relevant
parameters and a conjecture that identification and LFvisibility are the same notion.

4.1

Identification by agreement
The main idea behind all definitions of agreement is

a covariance relation between two linguistic units in


terms of some meaning-related category.

Identification is

apparently provided in only a restricted subset of all


agreement relations, however.

For instance, it is widely

recognized that not all agreement features interact equal


ly with null pronouns; thus, a theory of identification
must specify which agreement features are necessary for
the identification of a null pronoun.

Given the supposed


228

parallelism with other ECs, it is also likely that the


identification of a null pronoun involves some locality
restriction.

The aim of this section is to determine the

minimal requirements for identification by agreement.


4.1.1

The features of identification


Commonly, there are three pronominal features which

are encoded by agreement: person, number, and gender.

The

three are not all equal for purposes of identification,


however.
Gender features alone do not suffice to identify a
null pronoun, as the following agreement paradigm from
Yebamasa demonstrates (Garcia, et al 1975).

Note that

although gender is marked on third person singular forms


only, and so redundantly encodes that information as well,
no null pronouns are licit.
(1)

Is
2s
3sm
3sf
lp
2p
3p

*(yu)
*(mu)
*(!)
*(iso)
*(mani,yua)
*(mua)
*(ina)

basaja
basaja
basami
basamo
basaja
basaja
basama

'I sing'
etc.

The same general point can be made, somewhat less direct


ly, by languages which have incomplete gender agreement.
Where most languages have gender agreement, e.g., in the
Irish prepositional paradigm, they restrict it to third
person contexts.

Still, Irish allows not only null third

person pronouns but also null first and second person

229

forms, which are independent of gender agreement


(McCloskey & Hale 1984:506).
(2)

Is
2s
3sm
3sf

liom
leat
leis
leithi

!with
'with
'with
'with

me'
you'
him'
her'

Even more convincing are those languages which never


encode gender information, yet which allow null pronouns,
e.g., Finnish.
(3)

Is
2s
3s

(min&)
(sin&)
(h&n)

laula-n
laula-t
laula-a

'I sing'
'you sing'
'he/she/it sings'

This last type of language, in which gender is never


encoded by subject-verb agreement, includes the Romance
family, the core set of languages for most null subject
investigations.

It is thus not surprising that gender

agreement has never been considered seriously as an iden


tifying feature (in the strict sense in which I use this
term).
Since person and number are part of the subject
agreement paradigm in the Romance languages, most theories
of identification have made use of these two features.
Rizzi (1986b) proposes that null referential subjects
(i.e., all thematic subjects except for subjects of
weather-expressions and the like) require both features.
The basis of this claim is the following observations
about Italian: null nonthematic pronouns may occur in
environments without any person-number specifications;
null argument NPs (i.e., weather-subjects) occur where

230

there is number specification; but null referential argu


ments appear only in construction with person and number
agreement (Rizzi 1986a:541-542).
(4) a. *ritengo 0 simpatico
'I believe (him) nice'
b. *ritengo 0 troppo tardi per S
'I believe (it) too late for S'
c.

ritengo 0 probabile che S


'I believe (it) likely that S'

(5) a. *ritengo essere 0 simpatico


'I believe to be (he) nice'
b.

ritengo essere 0 troppo tardi per S


'I believe to be (it) too late for S'

c.

ritengo essere 0 probabile che S


'I believe to be (it) likely that

(6) a.

S'

ritengo che 0 sia simpatico


'I believe that (he) is nice'

b.

ritengo che 0 sia troppo tardi per S


'I believe that (it) is too late for S'

c.

ritengo che 0 sia probabile che S


'I believe that (it) is likely that S'

(Cf. a similar conclusion, based upon Hebrew nonthematic


subjects in Borer (1986)).

As demonstrated by the results

of the survey in the previous chapter, there is little


doubt that Rizzi's statements concerning nonthematic pro
nouns are correct: neither person nor number features are
of any relevance to these null pronouns.
His statements relating these features with null
argument and referential pronouns, on the other hand, are
much more open to question, both in relation to the facts
he discusses and on a cross-linguistic level.

His use of

231

the feature 'number' is particularly confusing, for the


predicate adjectives in (5), where null argument pronouns
are licit, display no less (or more) number inflection
that the predicate adjectives in (4), where null argument
pronouns are illicit.

If the role of number is not

obvious from this supposed contrast, its relevance to the


verbal agreement in (6) is even less so.

One might as

easily conclude that null referential pronouns require


only person specification rather than both number and
person.

The Italian facts in (4) through (6) simply do

not provide any basis for deciding whether or not number


is relevant.
When a wider perspective is taken, it becomes evident
that, as there are languages in which number marking is
not apparent in all examples of null pronouns, specifica
tion of person is the only essential feature.

In Mojave

(Munro 1976:14) and Canela-Kraho (Popje & Popje 1986:175),


the latter of which is exemplified below, agreement is
optional for number though person specification is
obligatory.
(7)

capi te (me) i-pupun


Capi PST PL 1-see
'Capi saw us/me'

The conclusion that number is irrelevant is further


bolstered by agreement patterns which mark number agree
ment but do not allow null pronouns.

In West Flemish,

Bennis & Haegeman (1984) report that the lexical comple


mentizer which introduce finite subordinate clauses agree
232

with the subject of that subordinated clauses in number;


yet these subjects may not be null.
(8) a.

b.

...da-0 *(jij/zie/et) komt


that-sg he/she/it
come
'...that he/she/it comes'
...da-n *(zunder) kommen
that-pl they
come
'...that they come'

However, when the complementizer is inflected for both


person and number, the pronominal subject drops freely
(Bennis & Haegeman 1984:41).
(9)

.da-nk
.da-j
.da-tje
.da-se
.da-t
.da-me
.da-j
.da-nze

(ik)
(gie)
(jij)
(zie)
(et)
(wunder)
(gunder)
(zunder)

kommen
komt
komt
komt
komt
kommen
komt
kommen

'that
'that
'that
'that
'that
'that
'that
'that

I come'
you come'
he comes'
she comes'
it comes'
we come'
you come'
they come'

Unfortunately, the conclusion that identification


minimally requires specification of person is not univer
sally apparent.

The cross-linguistic perspective also

reveals complicating data: null pronouns where there is


only number agreement, e.g., the subject of intransitive
clauses in the realis mood in Chamorro (Chung 1984:118).
(10)

man-ma'udai (helm)
pl-ride
we
'we rode'

What distinguishes this situation from that reported in


(8) is the fact that Chamorro is a language which also has
pronominally interpreted gaps without agreement, e.g., the
null object in (11) (Chung 1984:120).

233

(11)

in-bisita (gui') gi espitat


IpSU-visit him
LOC hospital
we visited him at the hospital

Chamorro object gaps behave quite like the Mandarin gaps


in so far as the reference of the null object is recovered
from the discourse context, i.e., (11) may also be inter
preted as having a first person or second person object.
This raises the possibility that the gap in (10) is due to
whatever it is that allows the null pronoun in (11) rather
than to identification by number agreement.
I reexamine the Chamorro data following a discussion
of Mandarin in section 4.2; in the meantime, given the
fact that number agreement only appears to identify null
pronouns in languages which also allow null pronouns with
out any agreement, I tentatively conclude that only the
feature of person is necessary for the identification of
null thematic pronouns.
4.1.2

Structural conditions
When instances of identification by morphological

agreement are considered, it is quite apparent that the


agreement form and its target (the agreed with argument)
occur in close proximity to one another.
(12) a.

b.

a subject agreeing with a verb (Spanish)


(yo) soy
de California
I
be/ls of California
I am from California
an object agreeing with a verb (Cochabamba
Quechua)
qan (noqa-ta) apa-wa-rqa-nki
you I-ACC
carry-lsO-PST-2sS
'you carried m e
234

(12) c.

an indirect object agreeing with a verb


(Georgian, Harris 1981:30)
mi-s-cems
sasmels (stumars)
3sS-3sIO-give drink
guest-DAT
he is giving drink to the guest/(him)

d.

a possessor agreeing with a noun (Cherokee)


a:kw-e:tsi
IsPOSS-child
'my child'

e.

an adpositional object agreeing with an


adposition (Welsh, McCloskey & Hale 1984:519)
iddo
(fe)
to/3sm him
'to him'

An obvious way to characterize this proximity is in terms


of the GB notion of government, introduced in section 1.2
and repeated below.
(13)

governs
if and only if
1) o/ m-commands /& , and
2) there is no
, a barrier for
that ^ excludes oC

(14) a.

b.
c.

, such

m-commands
if and only if
1) oC. does not dominate
, and
2) every maximal projection that dominates
dominates oi.
excludes fe if no segment of o(, dominates^
is dominated by /& only if it is dominated
by every segment of fe

Indeed, in each of the examples in (12), the agreement


form appears on the head of a phrase and the target is an
argument of the phrase defined by that head.

For example,

the Irish agreement marker in (12e) is attached to the


head of PP and the null pronoun is the object of that
head.

Note that the subject, by this reckoning, agrees

not with the verb per se but with the inflection node
(INFL) which is head of the sentence (IP).
235

Government also defines the relation between a clitic


agreement marker and its target.

In Spanish object-clitic

constructions, for instance, the clitic is generally


assumed to be generated separate from the head of VP,
e.g., adjoined to it, though it is associated with that
head in the syntax, where it governs the object of that
verb just as much as any verbal affix.
(15)

Juan [ [ l a
am-a]
0 ]
VP V i
i
J
3sfCL.O love-3sS
'Juan loves her'

But clitics may also appear outside of the phrase in which


the argument they identify is located, e.g., in West
Flemish, as reported by Bennis & Haegeman (1984:41).
(16)

...[

da-nk
[ (ik) kommen]]
CP
IP
that-lsS
I
come
'...that I come'

In this instance, the subject clitic is attached to the


head which governs the phrase the subject is located
inside.

Although this relation falls outside the core

notion of government, i.e., government by a head of all


within its own maximal projection, the relation in (16)
does correspond to the definition of government provided
in section 1.2.

There, it was noted that a head must be

able to govern thespecifier


governs, in order to
(17)

of any maximalprojection

it

explain ECM constructions like(17).

I believe her to be extremely capable

This definition of government depends upon the notion

236

'barrier for government', defined only informally in


section 1.2.
For my immediate purposes, it need only be recognized
that IP in (16) is not a barrier; thus, the agreement form
-nk governs the specifier of IP, i.e., the null subject.
With this point settled, I can conclude that the domain of
agreement relations is that captured by the definition of
government in (17): an agreement marker must govern its
target.
Since some elements move into sites where they are
matched with agreement, e.g., the null subject of the
Spanish passive sentence in (18), I presume that this
requirement holds at s-structure but not at d-structure.
(18)

0 fui-mos
invitados a la
fiesta
be/PRET-lp invite
to the party
'we were invited to the party'

Note that this conclusion forces s-structure agreement in


the following example of long-distance agreement, pointed
out to me by 0. Jaeggli.
(19)

0 sembrano [ess-er+nearrivati molti]


seem/3pl be-INF+ne arrive
many
'many of them seem to have arrived'

Since the NP which triggers agreement with the matrix


subject is clearly within the complement phrase (as shown
by the fact that it has partly cliticized to the lower
verb), it must be the case that there is some null inter
mediary, i.e., a null nonthematic subject of the matrix
clause which is coindexed with both the matrix INFL and
the lower subject.
237

This proposal, like the proposal that the feature of


person is alone required for agreement identification,
also has its apparent exceptions.

Basque clitics, for

instance, do not obviously govern their associated argu


ments.
(20)

zu-k
a-ri
liburu-a irakurri d-io-zu
2s-ERG 3sf-DAT book-ACC read
3sDO-3sIO-2sS
'you have read the book to her'

Assuming that Basque sentential structure includes a VP,


either the clitic complex diozu is inside the VP or out
side it: in either case, it cannot govern all the argu
ments it agrees with.
As pointed out to me by Osvaldo Jaeggli, there is an
analysis of this sentence which is compatible with govern
ment.

Klavans (1985) has argued that the phonological

attachment of clitics is not necessarily a reflection of


their syntactic association.

That is, it is possible that

(20) has the representation similar to (21) at s-structure, i.e., before cliticization at PF.
(21)

[ [ zuk][ ari liburua irakurri d-io][


zu]]
IP NP
VP
INFL

Note that the ordering of clitics, with the subject clitic


on the outside of the others, suggests precisely such an
analysis.

As with the Chamorro data discussed with regard

to pronominal features, I therefore conclude that the


Basque example (20) is only an apparent counterexample to
the government condition on identification.

238

4.1.3

Association of target and agreement


Given an agreement marker with person specification

which governs its target, the remaining question is how


the two elements become associated.

Two issues merit

attention: the mechanism involved in the association and


the impetus for the association.

With respect to the

first question, GB analyses agree that some form of


coindexing is involved, though in previous works this
coindexing has variously been called subscripting or
superscripting.

I shall ascribe to the Unity of Indexing

Hypothesis (UIH), first proposed and investigated in Safir


(1985), which claims that there is but one form of
indexing, and investigate the consequences.
One immediate gain of the UIH is that it is
unnecessary to posit a rule which specifically coindexes
agreement forms and their triggers.

Instead, the same

rule of free indexing which assigns an index to every NP


is assumed to operate.

Furthermore, the fact that null

pronouns receive their (shared) indices in a way parallel


to other ECs provides a clue as to how the coindexing is
forced.

For Rizzi (1986a), all ECs obligatorily share an

index in order to be identified: since ECs are inherently


without features, they must receive these features via the
element they are coindexed with.

Put briefly, ECs must be

feature-identified.

239

4.1.4

Summary

A null pronoun is identified when it is in the


government domain of some agreement form which minimally
encodesthe pronominal feature of person.
linked by

The

two are

a freely operating rule of indexing, and the

coindexing is forced by an independently motivated prin


ciple, the requirement that ECs be feature-identified.
In large part, the conditions I have argued for in
this section are roughly equivalent to the first of those
developed by Rizzi (1986a:520,521).
(22) a.

b.

let X be the licensing head of an occurrence of


pro; then pro has the grammatical
specifications of the features on X coindexed
with it
assign arb to the direct theta-role

The fact that Rizzi's licenser assigns Case to the null


pronoun associated with it means that the agreement
features on that head necessarily govern the null pronoun.
My contribution, to this point, is to emphasize the role
of government in defining the domain of identification.
But there is a much larger contribution to be made.
Rizzi claims that the identification requirement on null
pronouns is in some sense parallel to the requirement that
traces be identified, i.e., that there is some larger
theory of identification of which the requirement on null
pronouns is just a part.

Although this parallelism across

ECs is his basic motivation for splitting the analysis of

240

null pronouns into identification and licensing, Rizzi


does not honor this parallelism.
Each of the traces of movement is characterized by a
single domain of identification: a WH-trace must be iden
tified by an A '-antecedent in the domain established by
bounding theory; an NP-trace must be identified by an Aantecedent in the minimal CP which contains it.

According

to the discussion of this section, a null pronoun must be


identified by an agreement marker which governs it.

If

there is a complete parallelism between traces and null


pronouns in terms of the domain of identification, it is
expected that all null pronouns are identified in that
government-defined domain, just as all traces are
identified in a single domain.
Yet this is denied in Rizzi's analysis, for he allows
some null pronouns, i.e., null arbitrary objects in
Italian, to be identified by a special rule, (22b),
repeated below.
(22)

b.

assign arb to the direct theta-role

It doesn't matter that this rule is stipulative and that


it applies only to the null arbitrary objects in Italian
(at least, according to Rizzi's analysis).

The point is

that his analysis captures a constrained view of


pronominal identification, and then it allows a class of
exceptions to this constraint.

There is nothing a priori

about this line of analysis which is incorrect, but it is


inconsistent with his earlier claimed parallelism with
241

traces, for there are no traces which are not identified


within their sole specified domain.
In the remainder of this chapter, I pursue the hypo
thesis that there is a single domain of identification for
null pronouns: specifically, that every null pronoun is
governed by its identifier.

In addition to forcing a new

analysis of Rizzi's null arbitrary objects, this stance


has repercussions for a wide variety of null pronominals,
e.g., PRO and the agreementless null pronouns in Mandarin.

4.2

Definite null pronouns without agreementidentification


The theory of identification presented in section 4.1

allows only one sort of element, agreement, to identify


null definite pronouns.

In this section, I examine other

null pronouns which also unambiguously receive a definite


interpretation and argue that they may be incorporated
within a general theory of null pronoun identification,
with no change in the domain of identification, by simply
expanding the list of feature-identifiers.
4.2.1

Pronominally interpreted gaps in Mandarin


The definition of null pronouns adopted for the

survey in chapter three was purposely stated in as general


terms as possible.

It was realized there that certain of

the agreementless null pronouns it would include might


subsequently turn out not to be pronominal after all.

In

this subsection I examine the many pronominally


242

interpreted gaps found in Mandarin and, following Huang


(1982,1984), conclude that null pronouns occur only as
subjects in this language.

However, as his analyis of

these null pronouns does not conform to the requirement


that the identifier of a null pronoun govern it, I propose
an alternative analysis, which is subsequently shown to be
more adequate on both the language-specific and crosslinguistic levels.
4.2.1.1

The distribution of null pronouns in Mandarin

In the survey of chapter three, it was reported that


null pronouns are found in Mandarin in the subject posi
tion (including thematic subjects, imperative subjects,
infinitival subjects and nonthematic subjects, of which
only the first is considered in this section), direct
object position, and possessive pronoun position.

For

each of these null pronouns, exemplified below, there is


no agreement morphology, yet the gap in these sentences is
undeniably interpreted as definite and pronominal.
(23) a.

b.

0
kanjian 0
le
I/you/he/etc. see
I/you/he ASP
!I saw him
Zhangsan

, 0 baba
hen
youqian
i
i
Z
father very rich
'Zhangsan, his father is very rich'

Huang himself has wavered on the proper analysis of


(23b).

In Huang (1982:349-350), noting that null

possessors (or the interpretation thereof) are found with


NPs which express kinship (23b) and inalienably possessed
243

items (24a), but not other NPs (24b), he concluded that a


syntactic solution was not motivated.
(24) a.

Zhangsan i zai xi
0 shou
i
i
Zhangsan
at wash
hand
'Zhangsan is washing his hands'

b. *Zhangsan

kanjian-le 0
i

shu
i

Zhangsan see-ASP
tree
'Zhangsan saw his trees'
After all, as Huang notes, syntax is otherwise not sensi!tive to the difference between kinship terms and other
!NPs; furthermore, outside the interpretive facts there is
no evidence that null pronouns exist in these construc
tions.

He alternatively suggested that the interpreta-

j
i
]

tions are best accounted for by a theory of pragmatics,

which captures the fact that hands are generally construed |


as belonging to those who use them, just as kin are always
kin in relation to some particular individual.

j
I

Huang has subsequently modified his position by

assuming that inalienably possessed nouns obligatorily


assign a thematic role (Huang 1984:563,fn.32).

Huang

presents no syntactic evidence for this claim, though the


contrasts in the following data (supplied by Audrey Li)
demonstrate that kinship terms are especially resistant to
nonpossessed readings.
(25) a.

Zhangsan

zai xi

baba

i
i,*j
Zhangsan at wash
father
'Zhangsan is washing his father'

244'

(25) b.

Zhangsan

zai xi

shou

i
i, j
Zhangsan at wash
hand
'Zhangsan is washing his/artificial hands'
c.

Zhangsan

zai xi
i

che
i, J

Zhangsan at wash
car
'Zhangsan is washing his car'
(26) a.

b.

c.

Zhangsan , 0
baba
da-le
0
i
i,*j
i
Zhangsan
father hit-ASP
'Zhangsan, his father hit him'
Zhangsan , 0
shou xia-dao le 0
i
i
Zhangsan
hand scare
ASP
'Zhangsan, his/artificial hands scared him'
Zhangsan , 0
che ya-dao
le 0
i
i ,3
i
Zhangsan
car press-fall ASP
'Zhangsan, his/a car ran over him'

Since this observation is also captured by a theory of


pragmatics, which is generally required to capture facts
about the world, the data in (25) and (26) provide no more
justification for a null possessive pronoun than the data
in (23b) and (24).

In the absence of syntactic evidence,

I conclude that the syntactic representations of (23b)


through (26) do not include a null possessive pronoun.
That is, I deny that the definite interpretations
associated with agreementless possessed NPs constitute a
counterexample to the agreement hypothesis.
By far the larger issue is whether the pronominally
interpreted gaps in (23a), repeated below, are pronouns.
(23) a.

0
kanjian 0
le
I/you/he/etc. see
I/you/he ASP
'I saw him'

245

Huang says they are not.

But Huang does not argue that

there are no null pronouns in Mandarin.

Where there is a

null subordinate subject coreferential with a c-commanding


NP, e.g., in (27), Huang posits a null pronoun.
(27)

Zhangsan

shuo 0
i

kanjian Lisi le
i

Zhangsan say
see
Lisi ASP
'Zhangsan said that he saw Lisi'
Huang's inspiration for the pronoun-variable distinc
tion is the fact that only the coreferential subordinate
subject has a fixed reference, whereas the other gaps are
dependent upon discourse: the gaps in (21a), for example,
might be interpreted as any pronoun.

These discourse-

dependent interpretations, Huang suggested, occur because


the EC is a variable bound by a discourse-bound topic,
such that the proper s-structure representation of (23a)
is actually that in (28).
(28)

TOPIC

TOPIC
i

'TOPIC

0
3

kanjian 0
i

see
saw TOPIC '
i
3

le
3

ASP

The evidence for Huang's analysis depends upon two


tests for distinguishing pronominal syntactic behavior
from that of variables: distribution and referential
dependency.

In both instances, the object ECs in (23a)

display the behavior of variables.


Topics in Mandarin may be related to gaps in the
subject position or the object position, but not to
indirect objects or objects of prepositions.

246

(29) a.

Zhangsan

,Lisi shuo 0
i

hen

xihuan wo

Zhangsan
Lisi say
very like
I
'Zhangsan, Lisi said he like me very much'
b.

Zhangsan

,Lisi shuo wo hen


i

Zhangsan
'Zhangsan,

xihuan

i
Lisi say I very like
Lisi saidI like him very much'

c. *Zhangsan , wo song 0 shu 0 du


0
i
i
3
3
Zhangsan
I sent
book
read
'Zhangsan, I sent him a book to read'
d. *Zhangsan , wo gen 0 xue
i
i
Z
I with
learn
'Zhangsan, I learned from him'
Pronominally interpreted ECs (without a c-commanding
argument antecedent) also occur as subjects and direct
objects, but never as indirect objects or objects of
prepositions.
(30) a.

Lisi shuo 0
hen xihuan wo
Lisi say
very like
I
'Lisi said you/he/etc. like me very much'

b.

Lisi shuo wo hen xihuan 0


Lisi say Ivery like
'Lisi said I like you/him/etc. very much'

c . *wo song 0 shu 0 du


0
i
j i
j
I sent
book
read
'I sent you/him/etc. a book to read'
d.

*wo gen 0 xue


I with
learn
'I learned from you/him/etc.'

Furthermore, just as it is impossible for an object


variable to appear inside certain islands, e.g., complex
NPs (exemplified below) and relative clauses (Huang
1982:364), a null object is also so constrained.

247

(31) a. *Lisi , wo zhidao [ [ 0 da-le


Zhangsan de]
i
NP CP i
L
I know
hit-ASP Zhangsan
shiqing] le
matter
ASP
'Lisi, I have known about the fact that he hit
Zhangsan'
|

b. *wo zhidao 0 da-le Zhangsan de shiqing le


The referential dependency argument depends upon the

possible binders of a subordinate object.

If that object

|is lexical, it may be bound by the matrix subject.


!

(32)

Lisi

shuo ni

kanjian-le ta

L
say you see-ASP
he
'Lisi says that you say him'

But neither a null subordinate object bound by a topic nor


a pronominally interpreted null object (without a visible
topic) can be coreferential with a main clause subject.
(33) a. *Zhangsan , Lisi shuo 0 kanjian-le 0
i
j
i
j
Zhangsan
Lisi say
see-ASP
'Zhangsan, Lisi says that he saw him'
b.

*Lisi shuo ni kanjian-le 0


i
i
Lisi say you see-ASP
'Lisi says that you saw him'

1
i
The behavior of the gaps in (33), Huang notes, is precise- j
ly parallel to the phenomenon of strong crossover.

!
!

(34)

*who

did John
i

say that you saw 0


i

'
i

The indexing in (34) fails because the object gap is a

f
variableand variables may not be bound (by another argu!ment)according to binding condition C.

j
|
i

Huang's analysis has enjoyed considerable success.


In European Portuguese, for instance, Raposo (1986) has

I
|
i

248

not only recreated the strong crossover and subjacency


arguments but developed supplementary evidence that the EC
is a variable: it licenses a parasitic gap; and the EC in

question appears only when COMP is not filled, which is to

be expected given the doubly-filled COMP filter and the


assumption that the null operator also appears in COMP.

The hypothesis also explains the difference between two

;
1

types of pronominally interpreted gaps in American Sign

j
i
j

Language, as Lillo-Martin (1984) argues.


Huangs analysis is not universally lauded, however,
Foremost among his critics is Xu, who in two articles (Xu
1986, Xu & Langendoen 1985) has challenged Huang with a

j
j
i
,
*

collection of counterexamples and an alternative analysis. \


j
Xu denies that all null subordinate objects may not be
i
coindexed with a matrix subject. This is not to say that j
i

Xu contests Huangs examples, e.g., (33b) above; rather,

he points out others in which the coreferential reading is |


[

allowed or even the most preferred reading (Xu 1986:77,78).


(35) a.

John

ta
i

shuo ni

bu

ken

bangzhu 0

i
J
he say you not will help
John, he said that you will not help him
b.

haizi

yiwei mama
i

hao

zeguai

le
i

|
child think mother will reprimand
ASP
I
the child thinks his mother will reprimand him|
i
Other counterexamples challenge Huangs subjacency claims. ;
Again, Xu allows, it is true that there are instances in
which an object gap inside an island may not be proper,
e.g., Huang's example (31b) above, Xu mentions others in
249

which a null object inside an island may be grammatical


after all (Xu 1986:79).
(36)

Li xiaojie

zhao bu

zhao [ [ 0 ken qu 0
NP CP j
i
L Miss
find NEG ASP
will wed
de] nanren ]

'
,

man
'Miss Li can't find a man who will marry her'

Xu thus concludes that the subject-object asymmetries, the j


basis of Huang's arguments, are more apparent than real.

i
i
Xu's alternative is FEC, the free empty category, the ;

occurrence of which in a language is parametric: either a


language has FEC or it has the other four ECs (i.e., WHtrace, NP-trace, PRO and pro).

The distribution of FEC

within languages like Mandarin, Xu suggests, is con


strained only by the condition that whatever indexing it

receives nottviolate the binding conditions.

Huang (1987) has responded to Xu's criticisms and


analysis.

Of the FEC, Huang argues that it is unfounded

and unnecessary, since the ill-formedness of sentences in


both Chinese and English depend upon the binding condi
tions.

Furthermore, he points out that Xu's arguments

demonstrating the lack of the more familiar ECs in Chinese


is inadequate, for Xu has only shown that certain ECs are
not WH-traces and others not PRO, for instance.

FEC

cannot be considered a serious alternative to the other-

wise motivated inventory of ECs, Huang concludes.

Regarding the criticisms of his analysis, Huang notes I


I

that the subjacency violations Xu masses miss the point:


i

250

they prove not that the ECs are not variables, but that
the variables are not created by movement.

As for the

examples in which null subordinate objects may be corefer


ential with matrix subjects, Huang suggests that these may
be pragmatically interpretable but, properly speaking,
ungrammatical.

Whether this defense is adequate is hardly

the question to Huang.

Since Xu has proposed no other

theory which explains these phenomena, Huangs must be


maintained because it is the most adequate.
In assuming Huang's conclusions, two points become
clear.

First, agreementless null objects (at least in

Mandarin, though see section 4.2.2 for other agreementless


languages) have been identified as the second false coun
terexample to the agreement hypothesis.

That is, if they

are variables as Huang suggests, then they fall outside


the predictions of the theory of pronominal identifica
tion.

The second point is that the theory of pronominal

identification must involve some identifier other than


agreement morphology.
Before investigating this second point, there is
another previously noted EC with pronominal interpretation
which falls under Huangs variable analysis.

These are

the Spanish null indefinite objects discussed by Jaeggli


(1982) and Campos (1986).

These indefinite ECs commonly

occur in answers to questions, e.g., (37) from Campos


(1986:354).

251

(37) a.

b.

compra-ste

cafe ?
i
buy-PRET/2s coffee
'did you buy coffee?'
si, compre 0
i
'yes, I bought (some)'

Like the Mandarin null objects, these ECs exhibit a


variable-like behavior: they do not occur inside islands
such as the Complex NP Constraint or the Sentential
Subject Constraint; they are sensitive to the Doublyfilled COMP filter; and they obey the Condition on Extrac
tion Domains (Huang 1982), which states that a phrase may
be extracted only out of a properly governed domain (cf.
Campos (1986) for examples).

The conclusion that these

null objects, like those of Mandarin, are not null


pronouns thus seems well warranted.
But the conclusion that the object ECs in Spanish and
Mandarin are truly alike is undermined by the major
difference which separates them: the null object variable
is definite in Mandarin and indefinite in Spanish.

propose that this difference follows from other differ


ences between the two languages.
Jaeggli (1982:48-9) presents data which indicates
that the Spanish object variables are indefinite because
an object cannot be extracted when a clitic is present;
since a clitic carries the features which identify
definite null objects, the clitic-less topicalized object
must be indefinite.

252

If this situation and Jaegglifs explanation for it


were universal, we should expect that all topicalized
objects are indefinite yet we know that Mandarin has
definite ones.

According to Huang, only a definite inter

pretation is possible for the Mandarin objects because


Mandarin topics are specified as definite by the rule
which links sentence topics with discourse topics.

Since

Spanish has a negative setting for the discourse-linking


parameter, Spanish null topics never refer to any specific
item in the discourse.
4.2.1.2

Topics as identifiers of null pronouns

The only null pronouns in Mandarin which are syntac


tically motivated (i.e., ignoring the possibility of null
possessors, as in (24)-(26) above) are the null subordi
nate subjects which are coreferential with a c-commanding
subject.
(38)

Zhangsan

shuo 0
i

xiawu

hui

lai

Z
say
afternoon will come
'Zhangsan says that he will come this afternoon1
Noting that the requirement for a subject antecedent in
the next higher clause which binds the null pronoun is
extremely similar to the phenomenon of obligatory control
PRO, e.g., in (39), Huang suggested a single analysis for
the two constructions.
(39)

wo

zhunbei 0
i

mingtian lai
i

I
prepare
tomorrow come
'I expect to come tomorrow'

253

That is, Huang proposed that the null pronouns in (38) and
(39) are identified by a Generalized Control Rule (GCR).
(40)

coindex an empty pronominal with the closest


nominal element

This solution neatly explains the limited distribu


tion of null pronouns in Mandarin, for if a null pronoun
were generated in other than the subject position it would
be coindexed with some nominal, e.g., the subject, within
its sentence.
(41)

*Zhangsan

kanjian 0
i

le
i

Zhangsan see
ASP
'Zhangsan saw himself'
This coindexing violates binding condition B, which states
that a pronoun must be free within a specified domain,
e.g., the minimal sentence containing it.
However, Huang's GCR also has a number of short
comings.

First, as pointed out by Hasegawa (1985),

Huang's use of Control theory is incomplete if not unprin


cipled.

If he means to suggest that Control theory

operates in Mandarin finite clauses as well as nonfinite


clauses then he has the problem of explaining why there
are no null arbitrary subjects in finite clauses.

If (40)

is the extent of Control theory in Mandarin, there is the


problem of explaining arbitrary PRO where it does occur in
Mandarin.

Huang has simply ignored this situation.

The second problem relates to Huang's analysis of


subject gaps which may appear inside complex NPs, e.g., in
the following relative clause (Huang 1984:560).
254

(42)

Zhangsan , [ [ 0 0
changge de] shengyin ]
i
NP CP i j
j
Zhangsan
sing
voice
hen haoting
very good
'Zhangsan, the voice with which he sings is
good'

Huang argues that the GCR coindexes the subject gap with
the topic, and thereby explains why only subject pronouns
appear inside complex NPs, but the analysis requires that
he alter the definition of 'closest nominal element', such
that it ignores the head of the relative clause.
There is a third, more compelling reason to seek an
alternative analysis, the fact that Huang's identifier,
the closest nominal element, does not govern the null
pronoun it identifies.

As stated above, since all traces

are identified within a single domain, and null pronouns


identified by agreement are identified by AGR which
governs them,

it stands to reason that null pronouns

in

Mandarin should also be identified by some element which


governs them.
Since the null subject in (38), repeated below, is
licit, it must share an index with some governor; further
more, since it receives a definite interpretation, it must
also be the case that the identifying governor possesses
at least the pronominal feature of person.
(38)

Zhangsan

shuo 0
i

xiawu

hui

lai

Z
say
afternoon will come
'Zhangsan says that he will come this afternoon'

Within the government domain of the null subject, however,


there is no apparent identifier, e.g., no agreement.
There is an obvious candidate for the identifier, one
whose invisible status need not be stipulated, since it
has already been independently motivated by Huang: null
topics.

I propose that base-generated null topics iden

tify null subjects in Mandarin.


Nothing new or stipulatory need be introduced in
order for this analysis to work.

Null topics were intro

duced in Huang's analysis of Mandarin, summarized in the


preceding subsection, in order to account for the
variable-like behavior of pronominally interpreted null
objects.
Furthermore, it is well known that Mandarin allows \
base-generated topics, e.g., in (43), where the topic is
related to an NP rather than to a variable (Xu &
Langendoen 1985:2,19).
(43) a.

wu xiansheng

wo renshi zhege ren


i

Wu [title]
I know
this
'Mr. Wu, I know this man'
b.

man

shige li

wuge lan
le
i
i
ten
pear five spoil ASP
'of the ten pears, five spoiled'

If a null topic is indeed the identifier of a


Mandarin null subject, however, it must occur in a site
which governs the subject position.

This rules out the

specifier of CP, i.e., the site of moved WH-elements in


English, which does not govern the subject position.

The
256

two head positions which govern the subjects, INFL and C,


fail also, because topics are XPs and these are not sites
suitable for maximal projections.
The following example indicates that topics are
generated inside the complementizer (C) position.
(44)

yinwei shige li
wuge lan
le...
because ten
pear five spoil ASP
'because, of the ten pears, five spoiled...'

In accord with X-bar theory and the domain restriction on


identification, I propose that the position of (null)
topics in Mandarin is one adjoined to IP, as in (45).
(45)

^ - C P ___
SPEC_____________ __
C_______________ ___
TOP
J^IP
NP
I'
I
yinwei shige li wuge
lan le

From this site, a topic governs the subject position just


as surely as the agreement found on complementizers in
West Flemish (cf. section 4.1.2).
Given that a base-generated null topic can be moti
vated for Mandarin in a position from which it governs and
identifies a null subject, the structure for (38),
repeated below, is that given in (46).
(38)

Zhangsan

shuo 0 xiawu
hui lai
i
Z
say
afternoon will come
'Zhangsan says that he will come this afternoon'
i

(46)

Zhangsan
i

shuo [ [ 0
CP IP i

[ 0 xiawu hui lai]]]


IP i

What remains to be demonstrated is how this base


generated topic is obligatorily linked with the subject of
257

the next highest clause.

The obligatory aspect of the

linking follows from the general constraint put forth in


Aoun & Clark (1985), informally stated as (47).

This

principle explains not only the behavior of null topics in


Mandarin, but that of tough-movement gaps, parasitic gaps,
and object gaps in purposive clauses.
(47)

nonovert operators are A'-anaphors; hence, they


must be bound at s-structure

As for the constraint that the antecedent of the topic be


a subject, it is likely that this is related to the fact
that subjects rate higher in topicality that any other
grammatical relation.

Thus, the compatibility between

subjects and topics would appear to be the greatest.

This

makes an interestingly prediction which I return to below.


I have now outlined an analysis of null pronouns in
Mandarin which adheres to the limits of pronoun identifi
cation as they were described on the basis of agreement
identification.

The sole change in the theory of identi

fication is to allow one more type of identifier, i.e.,


null topics.

What remains is a demonstration that this

analysis has a greater range of adequacy than Huang's GCR


analysis.
First, note that the topic hypothesis, like the GCR
analysis, explains why null pronouns are limited to the
subject position: because topics are adjoined only to IP,
only subjects may be governed by topics.

258

But the topic hypothesis eludes Huang's difficulties


with Control theory.

Assuming that Control theory

operates generally in Mandarin finite clauses, he could


not explain the failure of null subjects to be interpreted
as arbitrary in reference.

Under the topic analysis, the

prohibition against arbitrary subjects of finite clauses


in Mandarin follows from the independently required state
ment that topics cannot be arbitrary in reference.
Note also that Huangs arguments that certain prono
minal ly interpreted ECs in Mandarin are variables rather
than pronouns only demonstrate that null objects must be
variables.

Yet he assumes, without evidence, that sub

jects, when they occur in sentences without a linguistic


antecedent, e.g., in (21a), are also variables.

No such

stipulation is required by the topic analysis, however.


In those cases of subjects where there is no linguistic
antecedent or the subordinate subject is not coreferential
with a superordinate subject, the topic which identifies
the null subject is simply linked with a discourse topic.
The topic hypothesis also makes the correct predic
tion concerning cross-linguistic types.

Huangs GCR

analysis predicts that there should be null subjects in


any language without agreement.

But this is not true.

Papiamentu, for instance, licenses null nonthematic


subjects, it lacks agreement, and control operates as
expected in nonfinite clauses.

259

(48)

0 tin un homber na porta


have a
man
at door
'there is a man at the door'

(49)

*(mi)
*(bo)
*(&)
*(nos)
*(boso)
*(nan)

(50)

mi

ta bini
ta bini
ta bini
ta bini
ta bini
ta bini

kier PRO
i

'I am coming'
etc.

bai
i

I
want
go
'I want to leave'
Still, null thematic subjects are ungrammatical even when
coreferential with a superordinate subject.
(51)

Maria

sa

ku

i
M
know
'Mary knows

*(e)

ta sabi
i
that she be smart
that she is smart'

If the mechanism responsible for null subjects is the GCR,


this type of language, which is not uncommon among agreementless languages, is
analysis,

unexplained.

Under the present

this follows because Papiamentudoes not allow

base-generated null topics.


To summarize: I have provided an analysis of null
pronouns in Mandarin which adheres to the general con
straints imposed on the identification of null pronouns by
agreement-identification, especially with respect to the
domain of identification.

This analysis, which posits a

null topic as identifier, captures the same range of data


as Huang's GCR approach, but it has proven superiority in
three instances: it predicts that null subjects of finite
clauses should not be arbitrary because topics cannot be;

260

rather than stipulating without evidence that some sub


jects are null pronouns and others variables, my topic
analysis predicts that all null subjects are pronominal;
and finally, my analysis alone makes the correct predic
tions concerning the cross-linguistic types.
4.2.3

Null pronominal objects in agreementless languages


It is quite likely that the analysis presented in the

preceding subsection extends to null subjects in other


agreementless languages besides Mandarin.

There are other

analyses of null subjects in agreementless languages,


e.g., Hasegawa (1985), though the fact that agreementless
null subjects are found only in languages with null topics
(and not in Papiamentu, for instance) is captured in no
analysis other than the one I have just presented.
In this section, I introduce another sort of null
pronoun found in certain agreementless languages, i.e.,
null direct and indirect objects.

Clearly, these are

troublesome for my analysis, since if topics are adjoined


to IP, they do not govern objects.

Nevertheless, the

evidence for these counterexamples is given in this


section, if only for the sake of completeness.
Chung (1984) is perhaps the first to argue that the
null agreementless objects found in Chamorro cannot be
variables.

She cites as evidence the fact that they do

not exhibit strong crossover effects and occur inside


islands (Chung 1984:126,125).

261

(52) a.

guiya[
he
[na

esti na patgun
NP
i
this L child
bai in-na'puti e

[ i ma'a'nao
0 e
CP
j i
C sSU-afraid
]]]

i
that IpSU-hurt
here is the child that is afraid that we will
hurt'
b.

ha-tattiyi

si Rosa

lahi guatu gigima'

3sSU-follow
Rosa the boy
there LOC house
[ni ha-fa'nu'i 0 0 gi ma'pus na
Huebis]]

C 3sSU-show
LOC PST
last Thursday
'Rosa followed the boy to the house that she
had shown him last Thursday'
She adds that, unlike objects moved by overt WH-movement,
they do not trigger WH-agreement, either (Chung
1984:124,125).
(53)

hafa

f-in-ahan-na

si Antonio e

what WH.0B-buy-3sSU
Antonio
'what did Antonio buy?'
(54) a. *kao ni-lalatde-nna
0
Q
WH.OB-scold-3sSU
'did she scold them?'
b.

kao ha-lalatdi 0
Q
3sSU-scold
'did she scold them?'

She concludes that the null object must therefore be


classified as a pronoun, at least for Chamorro.
Cole (1987) has also provided arguments to the effect
that agreementless null objects are pronominal in Imbabura
Quechua, Korean, and Thai.

Coindexing of a matrix subject

and null subordinate object do not exhibit strong cross


over effects, the distribution of null objects is not

262

constrained by subjacency or the coordinate structure


constraint (Cole 1987:600,602).
(55) a.

Juzi

nin [Marya 0
i

juyanata]

Jose say Maria


love/FUT
Jose says that Maria will love him
b.

Juan

yuyan [[chay 0

!
1

rijsishka] runa

i
j i
J
Juan think
that
knew
man/ACC
mirkadu-pi kashka-ta
market-in was-ACC
Juan thinks that the man who knows him was
in the market
c.

Juan

j
I

yuyan [chay runa 0

Maria-wan rikushka-ta]

!
1
j

i
i
Juan think that man
Maria-and saw
Juan thinks that man saw him and Mary
This behavior is inconsistent with variables of course,
but expected of pronouns.
The evidence suggests that Japanese is more like
Chamorro and the languages that Cole discussed than like
Mandarin.

First, it is marginally possible for some sub

ordinate null objects in Japanese to be coindexed with a


superordinate subject, thus violating the strong crossover
restriction which should hold of object variables (Whitman
1986:174).
(56)

Hanako-wa

[Taroo-ga

butta] to

ita

1
1
Hanako-TOP Taroo-NOM
hit
COMP say
Hanako said that Taroo hit her

j
!

I
i

Actually, there is much controversy over whether this


coindexing is licit.
extensive context.

Whitman forces this reading with an


And even Hasegawa, who claims that

this coindexing is ungrammatical, notes that it becomes


more acceptable with certain verbs.
But the situation is not comparable to the Huang-Xu
debate for Mandarin.

In Japanese, there is much other

evidence that the null objects are pronouns.

For in

stance, they may occur inside islands (Whitman 1986:175).


(57)

John-wa [ [ 0 0
issyoo hazi-o
kakaseru]
i NP CP j i
John-TOP
life
shame-ACC heap
dameonna-to ]
kekkonsita
3
no good woman-with marry
John married a no-good woman who will
embaress him his whole life'

And only null pronouns may be bound by quantifiers (Hoji


1987).
(58) a.

daremo

[ [ 0 0
katta] susi-o ] tabenakatta!
NP CP i j
j
noone
bring sushi-ACC eat
'nobody ate the sushi he brought'
i

b. *daremo

[ [ kare-ga 0 katta] susi-o ]


NP CP
i j
j
noone
he-NOM
bring sushi-ACC
tabenakatta
eat
'nobody ate the sushi he brought'
i

This latter behavior apparently adheres to Montalbettis


generalization that quantifiers may locally bind only a
null pronoun where there is a null/lexical alternation.
Complicating the issue in Japanese is the question of
whether kare is actually a pronoun or not; yet even if it
is not a pronoun, it still must be the case that the null
element bound in (57a) is a null pronoun.

264

I am aware of but a single analysis of these null


objects, the one put forth in Coles article.
tion is to parameterize Huangs GCR.

His solu

In Mandarin, he

suggests, the GCR applies to subjects of both tensed and


untensed clauses; this requires Mandarin null objects to
be identified by their subjects, a clear violation of
binding condition B.

In languages with pronominal null

objects, however, Cole suggests that the GCR applies only


to PRO.

Thus, null objects are licit in tensed clauses.

But Cole's analysis makes the prediction that there


should be no null objects in infinitival clauses in these
languages.

This is difficult to check in Japanese, Korean

or Thai, since it is not certain that infinitives exist in


these languages.

But the prediction is clear for Imbabura

Quechua, which does have infinitives: it should not allow


null objects.
Whether Cole's prediction for nonfinite clauses holds
true or not, it is nevertheless the case that his analysis
does not conform to identification
have defined it in this chapter.

in the sense that I


Not

only does he not

provide an identifier which governs the null object, but


he does not provide any identifier
As stated in the introduction

at all.
to this subsection, I

do not have a satisfactory analysis for these null pro


nouns either, though it is possible to extrapolate certain
facts about the identifier.

To begin with, since the

reference of these null pronouns varies over discourse


265

topics, it is likely that they, like the null subjects of


Mandarin, are identified by structurally represented null
topics.

As reasonable as this suggestion might appear, it

is rife with problems which I cannot adequately address.


First, the topic-analysis predicts that there must be
a null topic for evey gap in the sentence.

In Mandarin,

such a suggestion is reasonable because Mandarin allows


multiple topics.

However, Hajime Hoji informs me that

this suggestion is not nearly so adequate for Japanese,


which allows no more than two topics per sentence, one of
which is arguably the result of movement.

Yet there may

be more than two pronominally interpreted gaps in a wellformed sentence of Japanese.


Even if the topic analysis could overcome the topic
restrictions in Japanese, it is still the case that topics
adjoined to IP do not govern objects, unless there is no
VP in all of the languages with null objects.

Though this

has been suggested for Japanese by numerous investigators


of Japanese syntax, the arguments in Saito & Hoji (1983)
indicate that there is indeed a VP in this language.
Thus, the topic analysis fails in terms of locality as
well.

266

4.3

PRO and identification by predication

The major concern of this section is how to analyze

'PRO, the subject of nonfinite clauses, within the theory


Jof identification as it has been presented thus far, and
(thereby explain yet another class of exceptions to the
agreement hypothesis.

In spirit, this is a continuation

of the approach taken in Holmback & Gilligan (1984), where


it was claimed that PRO (and null pronouns in general) is
identified in a specified domain.

The incorporation of PRO into the general theory of


identification requires another supplement to the theory,
since neither of the previously posited identifiers, i.e.,
ftopics or agreement morphology, is apparently involved.
In all other respects, however, the analysis I present in
this section falls squarely within the theory of
identification.
The analysis of PRO is more complex than the analyses
of the preceding two sections, for the reason that there
i

.are three possible interpretations for null subjects of


!nonfinite clauses, which I continue to call PRO in line
with the conventions of previous work, even though it is
my contention that PRO is a null pronoun.

These three are

obligatory control (OC) PRO, nonobligatory control (NOC)


i
PRO, and arbitrary PRO, respectively exemplified below.
(59) a.
b.

Sax

tried [PRO

to field his position]

i
Jeff

i,*j
asked Bill how painful it would be
i
3
PRO
to shave his sunburned face]
i, j ,k
267

(59) c.

it is fun [PRO to play baseball]

In the first example, the only possible reading is the one


in which the subject of the main clause, Sax, is obliga
torily coindexed with the subordinate PRO.

Coreference

with some thematic element is also characteristic of NOC


PRO, though in the (b) example it is possible for either
Jeff or Bill to be that controller.

When there is no

antecedent, as in (c), PRO is interpreted as arbitrary in


reference.
This section begins with a review and critique of the
general approaches which have been taken in previous anal
yses of PRO.

Specific analyses of arbitrary PRO are then

considered, discarded, and replaced by a more adequate and


a more general conception of what arbitrary null pronouns
are.

Specifically, it is claimed that there is one PRO

which has the same features in all of its various inter


pretations .
I also propose that PRO is identified by the two
elements it shares an index with, a featureless INFL and a
predicate.

Since these identifiers have no explicit

features, they do not provide PRO with any specific pro


nominal features, and that it is this lack of specific
features which 1) makes PRO compatible with the full range
of antecedents, and 2) is responsible for the arbitrary
interpretation a free PRO receives.

268

Following my proposal as to how PRO is identified,


the other interpretations of PRO are addressed.
4.3.1

Previous approaches to PRO


How to account for the interpretations in (59) and

explain the limited distribution of PRO are the basic


tasks of any analysis of this EC.

Consideration of the

second point I postpone until the fifth chapter.

As for

the first, there has been in transformational generative


grammar (TGG) a single approach, though there are many
variants on that theme.
Essentially, TGG analyses of PRO assume that the
phenomenon of OC PRO is basic.

Because the obligatory

coindexing of OC PRO with a thematic antecedent appears


similar to the coindexing of anaphors and their antece
dents, it is therefore assumed that PRO, at least OC PRO,
must be an anaphor also.

This explains why the antecedent

of OC PRO, like the antecedent of an anaphor, is obliga


tory, uniquely determined, and not split between two argu
ments, and also why that antecedent must occur within a
limited domain which includes OC PRO or an anaphor.

The

anaphoric approach to OC PRO has three variants within the


GB framework.
The first is Chomsky (1981), where, in order to
capture the limited distribution of PRO, it is claimed
that PRO is both an anaphor and a pronoun.

This classifi

cation makes PRO subject to both binding conditions A and

269

B, such that it must be bound and free within a domain.


Since Chomsky defined this domain in terms of government,
he claimed that PRO must not be governed.

The interpreta

tions of PRO he then achieved through a PRO-specific


theory of Control, which specifies the structural and
lexical conditions under which the OC interpretation
occurs, and derives NOC and arbitrary PRO as an elsewhere
condition.
A second approach (cf. Manzini 1983, Bouchard 1984,
Sportiche 1983, Koster 1984) attempts to reduce much of
the phenomena covered by Control theory to the principles
of Binding theory.

Manzini suggests that all instantia

tions of PRO can be generated from a [+anaphor,-pronoun]


PRO, though the only arguments she presents deal with OC
PRO.

Koster, on the other hand, maintains the dual defi

nition of PRO, though in a disjoint sense, such that OC


PRO is an anaphor and the other PROs are pure pronouns.
More recently, Borer (1986) has shifted the anaphoric
properties of OC PRO to the infinitival INFL which governs
PRO.

Her basic proposal is that each instance of PRO is

coindexed with the INFL which governs it, and this


anaphoric INFL then seeks out some antecedent: a thematic
NP in the case of OC, a null operator in the case of
arbitrary and NOC PRO.
Clark (1985) also presents an anaphor-based analysis
of PRO, though of a completely different sort.

OC PRO

exhibits anaphoric-like behavior, he suggests, because OC


270

PRO is actually a variable bound by a nonovert operator


and nonovert operators are, following Aoun & Clark (1985),
A'-anaphors.

He thus compares OC PRO to the obligatory

linking found in tough-movement constructions, parasitic


gaps, and transitive purposive clauses.

I return to this

analysis in greater detail below.


4.3.2

The identification of arbitrary null subjects


With respect to the other interpretations of PRO,

there is considerable variation in adequacy among the


various TGG analyses.

In the earliest analyses, the con

centration upon OC PRO is so complete that arbitrary PRO,


e.g., in (60) is for all practical purposes ignored.
(60)

it is fun PRO to play baseball

In Chomsky (1981), this arbitrary interpretation of PRO


was achieved through stipulation.

Manzini mentions in her

closing paragraphs that arbitrary PRO is a free variable,


and Koster classifies it a pronoun, but none of these
suggestions has been developed with enough precision to
make serious consideration or criticism possible.
More recently, Epstein (1984), in a work that has
quickly become the most widely cited analysis of arbitrary
PRO in the literature (though cf. other quantifier-based
analyses of arbitrary PRO in Lebeaux 1984 and Sportiche
1983), has characterized arbitrary PRO as an instance of
OC PRO, where the controller is a universal quantifier.
The core of Epstein's analysis is the suggestion that the
271

LF structure of (60) includes a null dative pronoun which


is interpreted as a universal quantifier.
(61)

[ ( x)[ it is fun for x [ for [ x to play


CP
IP
CP
IP
baseball]]]]

This analysis has three benefits: the syntactically repre


sented controller for arbitrary PRO neatly parallels the
structure of OC, where PRO has an overt antecedent; the
quantifier provides a source for the arbitrary interpreta
tion; and the analysis captures without stipulation the
fact that the dative argument in (60), even when it is not
lexical, is always interpreted as coreferential with the
subject of the infinitive.
However, there are a variety of reasons for rejecting
Epstein's contribution to the analysis of PRO.

First and

foremost among these criticisms is the fact that it


assumes a null pronoun/quantifier, the null dative, which
falls outside the limits of any constrained definition of
null pronouns, e.g., my tripartite definition.

The null

dative is an optional argument not predicted by the pro


jection principle; it never receives an obligatorily non
generic interpretation; and finally, the syntactic evi
dence for this null pronoun, outside of the universal
interpretation, is nonexistent.

In a constrained theory

of autonomous syntax, the convenience of generating a


universal quantifier solely upon the basis of semantic
interpretation cannot easily be defended.

272

Furthermore, positing the null quantifier has only


pushed back the problem one step.

Why should this quanti

fier be null, and what is it that identifies the null


quantifier?

Epstein considers neither of these problems.

The first of these points is more appropriately discussed


in the next chapter, though the nullness of the quantifier
might follow from the fact that it occurs in a Caseless
position at s-structure and LF (Bouchard 1984).
Epstein never considers the second point, either, as
if a quantifier might exist independently of syntactic
constraint.

Borer (1986), in adopting a quantifier analy

sis of arbitrary PRO, notes this problem with Epsteins


analysis,

though she explicitly makes the claim that null

operators need not be identified.

As evidence, she cites

the Biblical Hebrew free relative in (61), which apparent


ly lacks an identifier for the null operator (Borer
1986:24-25).
(62)

[OP [asher yake


that
hit/3s
venatati l-o
give/ls
to-him
whoever will kill
I will give him

et Kiryat-sefer u-lexad-a]
ACC Kiryat-sefer and-take-it
et Axsa bit-i
le-isha
ACC Axsa daughter-my to-wife
Kiryat-sefer and capture it,
my daughter as wife

This example is open to reanalysis, however.

In section

4.3.5.3, in fact, I argue that this structure, and more


generally all apparently headless relative clauses, have a
null head which is identified by the internal head.

The

operator, as a member of this chain, is also so identified.

273

Therefore, the question remains.

Clark (1985),

though he proposes a different structure for arbitrary PRO


constructions, is perhaps the only analyst who discusses a
syntactic binder for the null operator.

In sentences with

a lexical adverb of quantification, he suggests that the


adverb is that identifier.

Thus, (63a) with an arbitrary

PRO has the LF representation in (63b) (Clark 1985:330).


(63)

a. it is very rarely easy to please John


b.

[
very rarely [ it is [ easy [ OP
CPP
i IP
AP
CP i
[t to please John]] x ]]]
i
i

Where there is no adverb of quantification, Clark claims


(p.339) that the universal quantifier 'is induced by
making reference to the properties of INFL.'
As interesting as these quantifier-based analyses of
arbitrary PRO are, they seem to overstate their case.
There is a reading of (63), for instance, which refers not
to all baseball players but to a subset of those indivi
duals.That is, if John uttered (63), it would be
statement

a true

even if he is the only person who enjoys playing

baseball.
(64)

it is fun to play baseball

This is not true of overt universal quantifiers, however:


unless John is the only person alive, the reference of the
PRO subject in (64) cannot refer to John and only John.
(65)

it is fun for everyone/anyone to play baseball

274

Furthermore, the presence of an adverb of quantifica


tion does not determine the meaning of arbitrary PRO in
the manner predicted by Clarks analysis.

The insertion

of always into (64) does not alter the fact that the
sentence could still be true even if it referred only to
John.
(66)

it is always fun to play baseball

That is, the interpretation of (66) is not restricted to


the one in which always determines the range of indivi
duals; it can also quantify over the points in time during
which the proposition holds for the individuals involved.
A particularly forceful demonstration of this conclusion
comes from one possible reading of (67).
(67)

it is very rarely fun to play baseball

This might be a true statement even at a point in time at


which everyone in the world was having fun playing base
ball.

The adverb very rarely simply reflects the proba

bility of that occurrence.


Without considering any other aspects of the quanti
fier analyses of arbitrary PRO, I therefore reject this
line of inquiry, since it does not capture the essential
property of arbitrariness.
The alternative I propose begins with the observation
that the reference of arbitrary PRO has the same possi
bility as any pronoun.

For instance, it is compatible

with any antecedent, regardless of whether the source of

275

reference is an obligatory controller, an optional con


troller, or a pragmatically inferred referent.
(68) a.
b.
c.
(69) a.
b.

c.
(70) a.

I am trying PRO to finish


i
i
are you trying PRO to finish?
i
i
he is trying PRO to finish
i
i
I know that it is important PRO
to finish
i
i, J
do you know how important it is PRO
to
i
i, j
finish?
he

knows that it is important PRO

to finish

i
i, J
it is rarely fun PRO to shave myself

b.

it must be no fun PRO to shave yourself

c.

to pass ROTC inspection, it was necessary PRO to


shave himself twice a day

This point seems to have eluded all previous analysts, who


instead seem to think that PRO must be either definite or
indefinite, or either universal or existential.

Paradoxi

cally, PRO is exclusively none of these, yet it can be any


of them.
In line with the theory of identification developed
in the preceding sections, it is natural to assume that
PRO is always coindexed with some element [+person] which
governs it.

But clearly, there is no agreement on the

verbal form which accompanies the arbitrary PRO subject,


at least not in the sense of specific person features, and
so this suggestion fails, at least if identification of
PRO is precisely the same as agreement-identification.

276

Since PRO occurs in languages without null topics, it also


stands to reason that this identifier is not involved.
The failure to locate arbitrary agreement or topics
needn't be a cause for alarm, however, for it is not
obvious that the multiple interpretations associated with
arbitrary PRO could correspond to any known agreement
form, all of which carry specific features; likewise, the
prohibition against arbitrary topics works against that
possibility.
I suggest that arbitrary PRO adheres to the identifi
cation hypothesis by being coindexed with some featureless
element which governs it.

Assuming that the identifica

tion requirement on null pronouns can be relaxed in this


way, i.e., identification without feature-specification,
this proposal makes it is clear why a PRO, inherently
unspecified for features, is compatible with any and all
pronominal features.
Note that positing a null pronoun without specified
features is not a convenience created especially for this
analysis of PRO.

In the discussion of nonthematic sub

jects in the previous chapter it was observed that they


often occur in agreementless contexts.

In that chapter, I

concluded that features were unnecessary for nonthematic


pronouns.

However, the theory of identification requires

a shared index for every EC, and since nonreferential


nonthematic elements have no specific pronominal features,
it is likely that they, like PRO, share an index with some
277

featureless identifier.

Such an analysis of nonthematic classification has


two favorable consequences.

First, it accounts for the

distribution of nonthematic pronouns, which are always


restricted to subject positions (in the sense of a predi
cation).

Second, this eliminates part of the confusion

concerning the interpretation of nonthematic subjects and


identification.

Rather than being faced with the four

types noted in (84) at the end of chapter three -- null


nonthematic subjects with AGR and without AGR, and lexical
nonthematic subjects with AGR and without AGR -- I now
need only explain two types: lexical and null nonthematic
subjects.

The theory of identification does not explain

the distinction between the two types, of course, but this


has been obvious since the survey of the last chapter.
This conclusion in fact underlines the fact that there is
some other aspect of null pronouns outside identification.
I return to this point in chapter five.
As for the identifier of arbitrary PRO, there are two
obvious options, the infinitival INFL and the predicate,
since these are the only elements which obligatorily cooc
cur with PRO.

Both share an index with PRO, the first by

the general SPEC-HEAD coindexing convention and the second


by the general rule of predicate-linking.

For the moment,

I will suppose that both indexings are required.

Clearly,

both are relevant, in as much as neither carries pronomi


nal features.

The constructions considered in section


278

4.4, unlike the present data, make a principled choice


possible.
To summarize: the structure I propose for (63), repeated
below as (71a), is that given in (71b).
(71) a. it is fun to play baseball
b. it
i

is fun [
[ 0 ][
to][
play baseball]
IPi NP i INFL i VP

I take PRO itself to be a null thematic pronoun which


shares an index with a featureless INFL and featureless
predicate.

Further, it is this lack of specific values

for pronominal features which makes PRO compatible with


any antecedent and which is ultimately the source of
uncontrolled PRO's arbitrary interpretation.
This analysis is incomplete, in as much as I have not
specified the conditions under which PRO is coindexed with
a linguistic antecedent nor the mechanisms by which this
coindexing is effected.

Neither have I addressed certain

behavior, e.g., Lebeaux's (1984) observation that the two


PROs in (72) must pick out the same set of referents.
(72)

[PRO

to know me] is [PRO


i

to love me]
i

This problem and others are addressed at the end of the


next section, following my analysis of OC PRO.
4.3.3

Obligatory control
The criterion I have used to diagnose OC PRO is the

choice of reflexives inside infinitival complements: in


cases of arbitrary PRO, the reflexive form oneself may

279

always appear; with OC PRO, this is always impossible


(unless the obligatory controller itself is oneself).
(73) a.

it is often necessary to shave oneself

b. *J asked B to shave oneself


Note that this test provides a different characterization
of OC than is found in Williams (1981), for instance,
where sentences of the form in (72b) are classified as
NOC.
The following sentences exemplify every structure in
which this criterion isolates an OC PRO.
(74) a.

[PRO

being the honest sort], J

[while PRO

a
3

running in place], J

gave B

reward
b.

gave B
a-

list
c.

saw B

J
i

a.

likes [PRO

J
i

b.

walking downtown]
i/ *3
being a movie star]

[while PRO
j

i,*j
to be a movie star]

wants [PRO
i

c.

persuaded B

J
i

d.

promised B

[PRO
j

to leave]
*k
3
i,*j,
(76)
it is essential to me [PRO
to win the race]
i
i,*j
(77) a. here is your new razor [PRO
to shave
i
i,*j
with e ]
J

[PRO

to leave]
i-j ,*k

b. I

witnessed J's

attempt [PRO

to escape]

i
j
In some of the structures in (74) through (77), it is
indeterminate which of the antecedents in the next higher
clause is the controller.

For example, the controller of

280

the infinitival complement of ask may be either subject or


object.
(78) a.

Jasked B
[PRO
i
3
i,*j
himself]

to be allowed to shave

b.

Jasked B
[PRO
i
3
*i,j

to shave himself]

Nevertheless, both are classified as OC in my schema


because some single antecedent, if not a particular one,
is obligatory.
Three issues must be addressed in any analysis of OC
PRO: why the controller must

occur in the domain of the

head which governs the infinitival

complement; why the

controller is always thematic; and why the shared indexing


is obligatory.
Unlike previous accounts of OC PRO, all of which
depend upon some anaphoric element, whether it be PRO
(Manzini, et al) or INFL (Borer) or a null operator
(Clark), I suggest that the means for this linking are
already at hand: the predicate-linking rule (cf. Williams
1981, Rothstein 1985).
(79)

X, a predicate, must be linked to an Aposition which c-commands it and which it ccommands

If the infinitival complement in an OC construction is a


predicate, the predicate-linking rule requires that it be
coindexed with some A-position, or subject (in the sense
of 'subject of a predicate1).

Since the head of the

infinitival INFL shares an index with its subject via

281

SPEC-HEAD agreement (introduced in section 1.2), the ante-

cedent and PRO will ultimately share an index.

j
This proposal, which thus far relies heavily upon the '
i
j
1 analysis presented in Williams (1981), answers two of the
i
questions posed above. The shared indexing is obligatory
because the predicate-linking rule is obligatory.

Fur

thermore, because the predicate and subject which are so


linked must mutually c-command one another, according to
i
j the predicate-linking rule, the relation of OC PRO to its
I antecedent is also explained.
i
i
This latter point requires further explanation, for
it is not the case that the IP predicate in (79), for
example, c-commands the subject it is linked with; rather,

the CP containing the IP predicate does.


(80)

we

tried [
[
PRO [
to ] [ win
CPi IPi
i INFL i
VP
the race ]]]

Thus, it is necessary to specify the convention by which


the index on CP is transferred to IP.

But this mechanism

1
I

needn't be stipulated for this purpose alone, for a coin


dexing between C and INFL seems motivated for a number of
reasons, especially by the well-known sucategorization
link between complementizers and tense.

I return to this

!
I

point in the next section.


Note that nothing in the predicate-linking rule makes J
any specific mention of thematic subjects; nevertheless

there appears to be a requirement that the antecedent of

OC PRO be thematic.

Other analysts have captured this

generalization by relating OC to anaphors or nonovert


operators, both of which must be linked to thematic ante
cedents.

If the predicate-linking rule is involved, how-

! ever, it should operate blindly as to the thematic content


i of the subject.
Let us assume that this is the case.

When

a predi-

| cate seeks a subject due to the exigency of the predicatej linking rule, it may be coindexed with any of the arguiment-positions which it c-commands.

Where that

A-position

I
So|
i
also is it OC in constructions where there is more than a I
I
single thematic antecedent, e.g., (74).
In these latter
|
i
cases, the choice of subject is apparently determined by
t

I is thematic, e.g., in (75) and (76), the result is OC.

semantic (cf. Ruzicka 1983 and Nishigauchi 1984) and prag


matic (cf. Comrie 1984 and Abraham 1983) considerations.
Thematic compatibility explains the difference
tween the two sentences in (81), the first of which

i
i
|

beis OC

and the second of which is not, despite the fact that


otherwise the two examples have the same structure.
(81) a.
b.

it pleased John to win the race


it takes great courage to stand against evil

There is a thematic antecedent for the predicate-linking


rule in either example, but only in the first is that
antecedent agentive enough to serve as the subject of a
predicate.
This proviso of the theory of OC also accounts for the
i

improper indexing in example (82).

;
i
283

(82)

*PRO

crossing the Rockies, it


i

rained
i

Borer claims that the inability of the quasi-argument it


to control of PRO should relate in an arbitrary interpre
tation; since it does not, she concludes that arbitrary
interpretation must not result from the failure of OC.
But (82) is a grammatical sentence where PRO and it
are coindexed, if one can imagine a context in which there
is some entity which is able to both cross the Rockies and
rain, e.g., a cloud.

Since there is a possible agentive

antecedent, the indexing must occur; where it does not,


the sentence fails not because arbitrary interpretation
does not result but because the predicate-linking rule has
not been obeyed.
Of course, the predicate-linking rule also leads to
some indexings which are anomolous, e.g., in (83).
(83)

?PRO

raining all day, John


i

read a book
i

An agent is the appropriate antecedent for the PRO, but


since John is not the sort of agent which rains, the
sentence is anomolous, rather than ungrammatical.
The major problem would appear to be how to charac
terize the class of infinitival predicates.

It is clear

that certain infinitival complements, e.g., those in arbi


trary PRO contexts, those headed by a WH-elementand

those

with lexical subjects, do not enter into OC.


(84) a.
b.

it is fun [PRO to play baseball]


John said that it was fun [PRO toshavehimself]
284

(84) c.

Mary prefers [for him to be sincere]

However, this does not entail that all three of these


structures do not involve predicate-linking.

The only

infinitival complement which is clearly not predicated of


a subject is the example of Exceptional Case-marking,
(84c).

The property which separates (84c) from the others

is its lexical subject.

Assuming that this lexical sub

ject imparts features to INFL via SPEC-HEAD agreement, the


following statement defines an IP predicate.
(85)

IP is a predicate iff INFL is without features

This means that the infinitival complements in (84ab) are


predicates, yet they lack OC.
This behavior is predictable, given the analysis of
OC PRO above.

OC PRO, it was noted, occurs when there is

a thematic element c-commanded by the infinitival predi


cate.

In neither (84a) nor (84b) is there any such sub

ject, however.

Instead, the only A-position available to

serve as subject is nonthematic; thus, the linking of this


antecedent to the IP containing PRO (and ultimately PRO
itself) imparts no features to PRO.
This analysis, however circuitous, has a wide range
of ramifications and predictions.

In particular, it is

not necessary to posit one line of derivation for OC PRO


and another for arbitrary and NOC PRO.

Precisely the same

steps and indices occur for any occurrence of PRO, the


difference being that an OC PRO is in an infinitival
complement which is predicated of a thematic antecedent.
285

It is also the case that this proposal, unlike


analyses of PRO which posit a direct parallelism between
OC PRO and anaphors, does not predict that OC PRO and
|anaphors should covary across languages.

And as Mohanan

(1985) has point out, they do not.

In Hindi, lexical

ianaphors, e.g., ek duusre 'each other' in (85), must be

bound within the minimal sentence containing them, i.e.,

they are subject to stricter constraints than in English

]
l
ii
!

(Mohanan 1985:643).
(86)

a. baccoo

ne[ ek duusre
ki
taswiire] dekhll
i
i
children ERG each other GEN picture
saw
'the children saw each other's pictures'

b. *bacco6

ne soca
1

ki

[[ek

duusre

.
1

ki

children ERG think that


each other
GEN
taswiire] bik rahl he
picture
sell PROG is
'the children think that each other's pictures
were being sold'
However, OC PRO may yet be controlled by an antecedent

i
i
|

outside the minimal sentence containing it (Mohanan


1985:643).
(87)

Jon

ne bil se [PRO
haathi ko maarne ka]
i
j
i,*j
John ERG Bill ACC
elephant ACC beat/INF
vardaa kiyaa
promise make
'John promised Bill to beat the elephant'
j

Icelandic, on the other hand, represents a case in

|
I

which anaphoric binding, (88a), is much freer than in


English, such that the antecedent of the reflexive sig may
cross sentence boundaries.

i
i

286

(88) a.

Jon

skipa i Haraldi

bi ja Marie

klipa

i
3
k
John order
Harold
ask
Mary
pinch
sig
i, j ,k
self
'John ordered Harold to ask Mary to pinch J/H/M'
b.

Jon

skipa i Haraldi

[PRO

lofa

Marie

i
j
*i,j
k
John order
Harold
promise Marie
a [PRO
klipa Onnu]]
*i,j,*k
pinch Anna
'John ordered Harold to promise Mary to pinch
Anna'
Yet as (88b) demonstrates, the controller of OC PRO is not
allowed the same range of possible antecedents.
In addition, this analysis explains Lebeaux's linked
readings for PROs in the same sentence, e.g., (89), with
out recourse to a null operator, which Lebeaux suggest is
adjoined to the main clause, whence it binds both PROs.
(89)

[PRO

to know me] is [PRO


i

to love me]
i

In the predication analysis of PRO, the linked reading


follows from the fact that both infinitival complements
are linked to the same subject position.

That is, at the

level at which predication relations are defined, i.e., dstructure, the structure of (89) is as in (90).
(90)

is [PRO
i

to know me]
i

[PRO

to love me]
i

Note also the following example of a predicate which moves


to the null subject which it is predicated of at dstructure.
(91) a.
b.

[PRO to stand against evil] takes great courage


it takes great courage [PRO to combat evil]
287

I conclude this discussion of OC with the refutal of


one more argument that OC involves an anaphor.
(1985)

has noted that,

Aoun

in Chamorro, -urn- replaces ergative

AGR in the realis modefor WH-questioning of

the subject,

subject-relativization, subject-focus, subject-raising,


and OC constructions (where the subject is the controller)
(Aoun 1985:103-105).
(92) a.

b.
(93) a.

hayi t-um-aitai i
lepblu
who
read the book
'who read the book?'
*hayi ha-taitai i

lepblu

i
taotao ni tumaitai i
lepblu
the person who read
the book
'the person who read the book'

b.

guahu tumaitai i
lepblu
I/FOC read
the book
'it was I who read the book'

c.

ha-tutuhun si Miguel tumaitai i


lepblu
begin
Miguel read the book
'Miguel began to read the book'

d. ma'a'nao yu' (*na) um-atsa esti na kahun


afraid
I
that lift
this
box
'I am afraid to lift this box'
No such morphological change occurs with other null prono
minal subjects, however.
(94)

ha-taitai 0 i
lepblu
read
the book
'he/she read the book'

Aoun concludes that this array of facts proves that OC PRO


is an anaphor, as are WH-traces and NP-traces within his
theory of Generalized Binding.
Instead, one need only note that in the examples with
-urn-, there is a chain which obligatorily includes a null
288

subject, the INFL governing that subject, and some element


outside the immediate projection (i.e., S or IP) contain
ing the subject.

The change in INFL morphology can there

fore be understood as a neutral form of agreement, e.g.,


like an infinitive, which is compatible with the many
different elements it may share an index with.

Aoun's

examples, therefore, are another piece of evidence that


the predication relation and movement sometimes overlap
(cf. also the examples in (89) and (90) above), but this
is hardly a demonstration that one phenomenon reduces to
the other.
I now turn to the final interpretation of PRO, the
nonobligatorily controlled (NOC) variety.
4.3.4

Nonobligatory control
Despite the recent attempts in the GB literature to

analyze PRO in other than OC contexts, NOC PRO remains the


poor sister in this discussion, though the consensus seems
to be that NOC PRO is a type of arbitrary PRO with a long
distance antecedent.

Borer, in one of the few explicit

analyses of NOC PRO, gives an operator analysis of NOC


PRO, such that the structure of (95a) is that in the (b)
example.
(95) a.

John

thinks that it is possible PRO to feed


i
i
himself

b.

John

thinks [that [OP

[it is possible e
i
i
to feed himself]]]]

i
[PRO
i

289

If it were possible for PRO to be identified by a long


distance controller, Borer argues, we should expect (96)
to be grammatical, but it is not.
(96)

*John

thinks that it is possible for Bill

i
PRO

j
to feed himself
i,*j

But Borer's argument carries no force, given the predica


tion analysis of PRO presented above.

The indexing in

(96) is ruled ungrammatical because the predication rule


has been subverted, and for no other reason.

Without this

evidence, the rationale for the operator analysis of NOC


PRO disappears.
The contexts of nonobligatory control are predictable
given the analysis of OC PRO in the preceding section.
Each NOC PRO fails to be obligatorily coindexed with a
thematic antecedent via the predicate-linking rule.

This

latter claim may be verified by the oneself test for all


of the examples of this section: in OC contexts, a PRO can
never bind the reflexive oneself (unless the controller of
PRO is one); in NOC contexts, PRO can always bind the
reflexive oneself.
OC may fail, and NOC result, for at least two rea
sons.

Generally, there is no appropriate antecedent.

In

(97), for instance, the government domain of the infiniti


val complement containing the PRO subject lacks a thematic
antecedent altogether.

290

(97) a.

told B

i
b.

that [it is important [PRO


to
j
i,j,k
shave himself/oneself]]

c.

I found [a nice place [PRO


to live in e ]]
i
i, j
I participated in [the attempt [PRO
to
i
i/ j
leave]]

d.

they

e.

were [too angry [PRO


to hold the
i
i, j
meeting]]

i
f.

bought a/B's book [about [PRO


j
i,j,k
growing up]]

J sold B a/T's book [about [PRO


i
j
k
i,j,k,l
growing up]]

Though there is an argument antecedent in the OC domain of


(98) below, that argument is not free, since it is the
head of the relative clause.
(98)

[
a man [PRO to talk to e ]] finally arrived
NP
i
i

OC also fails to occur when infinitival complements


are headed by a WH-element.

This cannot be due to the

fact that these IP are not predicates, which they are


according to (85) because of their featureless heads;
rather, it seems the direct result of the presence of a
WH-element in the specifier of CP.
(99) a.
b.
c.

d.

J
J

knows [what PRO


i

asked B

i, 3
[what PRO

to do]
to do]

i
j
i,j,k
I bought a table [on which PRO
to place
i
J
J
the flowers e ]
3
J bought a book on [how PRO
to succeed]
i
i, 3
291

Recall that in the previous section is was argued that the


link between PRO and its antecedent was mediated by not
only INFL and IP, but CP, for it is the CP containing the
infinitival IP which c-commands the subject.

That is, CP

is the predicate.
However, by (85), CP is only a predicate when its
head is unspecified for features.

Following Lasnik &

Saito (1984), we may assume that the heads of CP in (99)


all contain a feature [+wh] which forces syntactic move
ment into the specifier of CP.

Thus, the sentential

complements in the (99) examples are not predicates after


all.
Presumably, this explanation can be extended to the
last type of NOC PRO, the infinitival complements to
nonbridge verbs.
(100)

shouted [PRO
i

to leave]
i, j

What specifies the highest head in this sort of NOC PRO


remains an open point, however.
Thus far, I have not differentiated NOC PRO from
arbitrary PRO: both are free of an obligatory controller,
and as a result, either may always bind a oneself
reflexive.

But NOC may also have a definite reference,

i.e., the same NOC structure allows either a oneself


reflexive or one which refers to a nonobligatory argument
antecedent.

292

(101) a.
b.

J told M how to behave oneself in public


J told M how to shave himself

In the first case, it is coindexed only with the INFL and

!
i
!

predicate which govern it, and as they are both feature-

less, so the PRO subject is unspecified, or arbitrary in

interpretation
1
i
]
In the second example, either of two sources might be j
Jthe cause of the definite interpretation of PRO, i.e., if
NOC PRO is parallel to a lexical pronoun.

The antecedent

!
i

might be any c-commanding linguistic antecedent which is


outside the binding domain of NOC PRO (in conformity to

i
I

binding condition B).


(102) a. they

thought that J & B said that [PRO


i
j
i,j,k
feeding each other] would be difficult

j
,
|

b.

they
thought that J & B said that [their
!
i
j
i,j,k 1
feeding each other] would be difficult
!
i
The subject of the gerund in (102a) might be J & B, they,
or even the union of both groups.

These are, of course,

precisely the same interpretations available if the lexi


cal pronoun their is instead inserted as subject of the
gerund, as in (102b).
The examples of arbitrary PRO that I have discussed

!
i

thus far lack an

argument antecedent, and so do not enter !

into this kind of definite reference.

In

fact, this is

the the only point which distinguishes them: a NOC PRO may :
;be bound by a linguistic antecedent.

This is not to say

ithat arbitrary PRO may not be interpreted as definite,

however.

The same structure associated with arbitrary PRO

may yield a definite interpretation for PRO.

That is,

given the proper context, a PRO without a linguistic


antecedent may bind a definite reflexive pronoun.
(103)

a.
b.

it is often necessary to shave oneself

sometimes it is hard to behave myself

This pragmatically inferred definite interpretation


should also be expected in NOC constructions for two
reasons: any PRO outside of OC PRO is potentially free,
and arbitrary PRO has the pragmatic interpretation; be
sides, a pragmatic interpretation is always available to
free lexical pronouns.

The prediction is that there

should be interpretations in which NOC PRO is coreferential with thematic elements which do not c-command it,
parallel to the following examples involving lexical pro
nouns .
(104)

a. for them

to go to school in NY will harm the

children
i
b. for them

to go to dinner in Beverly Hills

i ,3
would be the highlight of J and B s
i
celebration
c. their

feeding each other became a problem

i, j
that B and K
forever

knew would bother T and J


j
*

This prediction is obviously correct, at least for the


examples above.

294

(105) a.

PRO

to go to school in NY will harm the


i, 3
children

b.

PRO

i
to go to dinner in Beverly Hills would

i, 3
be the highlight of J and B's
c.

PRO

celebration
i
feeding each other became a problem

that B and K
forever

knew would bother T and J


k

Still, this hypothesis is disputed by Lebeaux


(1984:254), who argues that NOC PRO may not corefer freely
with any lower NP though overt pronouns in the same con
texts may.
(106) a. *PR0

failing to finish the race meant that


i
Mary had finally defeated John
i
b. his failing to finish the race meant that
i
Mary had finally defeated John
i
(107) a. *PR0 relieving himself from the night watch
i
shows that the commander should have fired
John
i
b. his relieving himself from the night watch
i
shows that the commander should have fired
John
i
Assuming that the (a) examples are ungrammatical (and this
is by no means certain, since I have found a number of
native English speakers who are able to imagine a context
in which these are grammatical), it is certainly not the
case that all examples of this sort lead to ungrammatical
results.

One need only provide a plausible context. For

instance, to improve the reading indexed in (108) and


295

(109), imagine that it was uttered as part of a story


relating my or John1s day.
(108) a.

b.

(109) a.

PRO

getting punched to defend her honor


i
meant that Mary owed me a beer
i
my getting punched to defend her honor
i
meant that Mary owed me a beer
i
PRO getting punched to defend her honor
i
proved to Mary that she should marry John
i

b.

his

getting punched to defend her honor


i
proved to Mary that she should marry John
i

I suggest that the problem with the (a) versions of


Lebeaux's examples is a matter of pragmatic appropriate
ness.

This explains why the (b) versions with lexical

pronouns are much clearer, even in my examples where a PRO


subject is grammatical.
It is well known that pragmatic inference plays a
role in the interpretation of any sentence, and since an
overt pronoun provides information for that interpreta
tion, it feeds a possible interpretation.

A null unspeci

fied pronoun without a linguistic antecedent, like the PRO


subjects in the above examples, on the other hand, only
receives its interpretation in the context of a plausible
pragmatic interpretation.

For it to be interpreted,

therefore, the context must be sufficiently rich.


Jaeggli (1986b:614-618) also presents data which
presents a challenge to the hypothesis that NOC PRO is a
null pronoun.

Jaeggli argues that certain instances of


296

PRO, e.g., the NOC PRO subject of a purpose (in order to


VP) clause, are thematically controlled.

Thematic control

differs from argument control (which includes both OC and


NOC) because it can take an implicit argument as an ante
cedent and does not require the c-command relation.

These

points are illustrated in (110), where the agent of the


passive, whether implicit or overt, controls the PRO sub
ject of the infinitival phrase.
(110) a.

the price was decreased (by X ) PRO


to
i
i, j
help the poor

b.

the price was decreased by the government


i
PRO

to help the poor


i, j

Both of these points are consistent with the pragmatically


inferred interpretation of NOC PRO that I have outlined
thus far.
But Jaeggli further insists that thematic control is
subject to a locality condition.

That is, although the

PRO subject of the purpose clause in (111a) may refer to


either John or the implicit argument of told, the PRO
subject of the purpose clause in (111b) can refer to only
the subject of to clean the house and never the implicit
argument of told (unless that implicit argument is
coreferential with the subject of to clean the house).
(111) a.
b.

John was told (by X) PRO to clean the house


in order PRO to impress the guests
John was told (by X) that PRO to clean the
house in order PRO to impress the guests is
foolish
297

If it were possible for the PRO subject of a purpose


clause to take a nonlocal controller, this example might
provide strong evidence that there is some type of control
other than those I have analyzed.

Instead, Jaegglis

example only demonstrates the fact that a purpose clause


must be locally controlled.

The present analysis is

therefore not contradicted by this data.


Jaeggli mentions another difference between thematic
and argument control, that only the latter may control
into a passive infinitival (Jaeggli 1986:617).
(112) a.

the gifts were brought (by X ) PRO to


i
i
impress the Indians

b. *the gifts were brought (by X ) PRO to


i
i
be admired by the Indians
But Jaeggli's claim is overstated.

First, some English

speakers find (112b) perfect, given an enriched context.


Furthermore, there are structures parallel to (112b) which
are fine without any iamgined context.
(113)

the teacher said that an A grade had to be earn ed


(by X ) on every paper [PRO to be given an
i
i
A grade in the class]

What Jaeggli has apparently isolated is another instance


where thematic compatibility must be invoked.

In (112b),

unless one can imagine the bringer being admired, this


fails because the first requires an agentive reading while
the second is an unaffected object.

In my (112) example,

however, both the earner and the given are recipients;

298

hence, the ease of interpretation.

This result is that

this data also fails to establish a type of control dis


tinct from those I have previously suggested.
4.3.5

Summary
My analysis of PRO can be summarized as follows.

is a null pronoun, without inherent features.

PRO

It is also

identified by elements, e.g., predicates and infinitival


INFL, without specified pronominal features.

If the spe

cifier and head of CP are empty, and PRO is the subject of


an infinitive, then CP is a predicate, which must be
linked to some argument-position which governs CP.

If

that antecedent is thematic and the theme is compatible


with the thematic value of PRO, then that antecedent is
coindexed with CP; the index trickles to C, the head of
CP; the index is shared with INFL, via the independently
motivated C-INFL agreement convention; and finally it
reaches PRO, which is coindexed with INF the SPECHEAD agreement convention.
With NOC and arbitrary PRO interpretations, there is
no such linking with a thematic antecedent, either because
no such antecedent governs the CP containing PRO (in which
case the CP is predicated of a featureless nonthematic
antecedent) or, in the case of John knows what to do,
because the CP containing PRO has a specified head and is
therefore not a predicate.

These PROs may be interpreted

as definite in reference if there is an appropriate

299

linguistic antecedent which does not govern the CP


containing PRO, or if the pragmatic context is sufficient.
An arbitrary interpretation occurs where no specific value
is selected.
In this section, I have argued that arbitrary null
pronouns could be analyzed as null pronouns without major
changes in the theory of identification.

The domain of

identification and the requirement that shared indexing is


involved in identification have both been maintained as
is.

And it has been necessary to introduce only a new

type of identifier, one which is featureless and so


identifies an unspecified, arbitrary null pronoun.

Unlike

previous identifiers, it cannot be claimed that the iden


tifier of PRO shares an index with PRO because of featuretransmission; however, neither is it necessary to stipu
late this indexing, for it follows from a general rule of
predicate-linking which is motivated by other aspects of
the grammar (cf. Williams 1981).
The ability of this analysis of PRO to extend to the
full range of interpretations associated with PRO provides
a powerful argument that PRO is indeed a null pronoun.
This is the updated theory of identification:
(114)

a null pronoun must be coindexed with some


element in a particular domain
a. shared indices result from the rule of free
coindexing and two well-formedness condi
tions, the requirement that all ECs share an
index and predicate-linking, which requires
that all predicates share an index

300

b. an identifier of a null pronoun must govern


that null pronoun
c. a nonarbitrary null pronoun must be identified
by some element which specifies person

4.4

Other null arbitrary pronouns and null pronouns iden


tified by predication

The null pronouns analyzed in this section are some-

thing of a motley group.

I begin with three arbitrary

null pronouns identified by the same rule of predication


phich was claimed to identify PRO in the previous section.
(These are the arbitrary null objects in Italian discussed
|
|by Rizzi (1986), null pronouns inside NP, and nonthematic
subjects.

Next I consider two null pronouns which are

jassociated with definite interpretations, despite the fact


ithat they are not identified by anything with specific
features.

These are the orphan prepositions in French

jdiscussed by Zribi-Hertz (1985) and null subjects of


imperatives. The section closes with an analysis of null
i
pronouns, i.e., null heads of relative clauses, which
receive definite interpretations directly through the rule
;of predication.
i
4.4.1 Arbitrary null objects in Italian
The analysis of these null pronouns comes in two
steps: a

lengthy demonstration that they exhibit behavior

parallel to arbitrary PRO; and the demonstration that they


t
;are identified in a manner parallel to arbitrary PRO.

301

As Rizzi (1986a) points out, there are null objects


in Italian which are not identified by clitics or any
lather form of agreement yet which are grammatical and
receive arbitrary interpretation (Rizzi 1986a:505).
I
(115)
un dottore serio
visita 0
nudi
i
i
i
a doctor serious visit
nude[+plural]
'a serious doctor visits 0 nude
jRizzi, using reasoning which has become standard for the
jclassification of ECs, claims that the object EC in (115)
i
is a null pronoun because it cannot be any other EC. It
is not an anaphor, i.e., an NP-trace or PRO, because it is
governed and therefore has a governing category, yet it
has no antecedent; furthermore, it must be free in its own
governing category, unlike anaphors which must be bound.
Rizzi also rejects the suggestion that the arbitrary
null object is a variable bound by a null operator which
moves to COMP at s-structure.

Such variables, where they

have been motivated, e.g., in Portuguese (Raposo 1986),


require an otherwise empty COMP, because the operator
which binds the pronominal variable also occurs in COMP;
Ithus, example (116a) with a WH-filled COMP and a null
I
lobject is ungrammatical whereas the operator-less struc
ture (116b) is licit (Rizzi 1986:513, citing Raposo 1984).
(116) a. *para qual

dos filhos [e OP [e que a Maria


i
i
j
for which his children
Maria
comprou 0 e ]]

buy
for which of his children did Maria buy i t

302

(116) b.

OP

[a Joana viu 0
i

na televisao ontem a noite]


i

Joana saw
on TV
last
night
Joana saw him on television last night
No such restriction constrains the distribution of null
t
arbitrary objects in Italian, however (Rizzi 1986:514).
(117)

quale musica riconcilia 0 con se stessi


which music reconcile
with oneself
which music reconciles 0 with oneself

Rizzi also considers the alternative that the null


objects may be pronominal variables bound by operators
which move at LF.

This analysis is superior to the pre-

|vious one because LF movement does not obey the doublyfilled COMP filter; since movement at LF generally affects
non-WH quantifiers, this also lends itself to the view
that arbitrary interpretation is an instance of universal
quantification (cf. Epstein 1984).

But the analysis fails

to explain why an arbitrary object in the subject position


of a small clause (118a) behaves like generic NPs, e.g.,
in (118b), which may have scope over negation on the main
verb, instead of universal quantifiers, e.g., (118c),
which may not (Rizzi 1986:516).
(118) a.

questa decisione non rende [0 felici]


this
decision NEG make
happy
for all x, this decision doesnt make x
happy

b.

questa decisione non rende [la gente


felice]
this
decision NEG make
the people happy
for all x, this decision doesnt make x
happy

c.

questa decisione non rende [tutti


felici]
this
decision NEG make
everyone happy
'not for all x, this decision makes x happy'

303

Since generic NPs do not undergo QR, Rizzi concludes that


null arbitrary objects dont either; as a result, he

rejects this possible analysis for arbitrary null objects. .


In the analysis of the next section, Rizzi's classi-

|fication of arbitrary null objects as null pronouns is


I

|adopted, though it is proposed that they are the same sort i


!
of null pronouns as arbitrary PRO, i.e., they are identi- ;
fied in a manner parallel to arbitrary PRO.

But first an

alternative analysis of null arbitrary objects, developed


in a series of papers by Marc Authier (1987a,1987b), must
be examined.
Authier contends that null arbitrary objects are free
variables which are bound at LF by an overt or nonovert
adverb of quantification, and he cites an impressive range i
of data to support that claim.
To begin with, Authier (1987b) argues that there are
two types of empty operators, one (like the operator which j
I
binds the null variable object in Portuguese, cf. (115))
which occurs in COMP and the other which is adjoined to
IP.

i
!

This latter operator, of course, is the one Authier

associates with arbitrary null objects.

This allows him

i
]

to overcome Rizzi1s argument that an operator analysis


must fail because of the contrast between (116) and (117)

above.

Authier (1987a) then presents an array of data which


[
shows the effects of that operator.

Like Lebeaux (1984),

he suggests that the obligatorily linked reading of the


j

304

arbitrary objects in (119) follows from the fact that


there is a single sentential operator from which the two
ECs get their reference (Authier 1987a:7).
(119)

une therapeutique qui

rend 0

intelligent
i

therapy
which makes
intelligent
est une therapeutique qui
rend 0 sur de soi

is a
therapy
which make
sure of self
'a therapy which makes 0 intelligent is a therapy
which makes 0 self-confident'
Furthermore, he relates the failure of the indexing in
(120a) to Weak Crossover effects in (119b) (Authier
!1987a:10).

i
(120) a. *son

b.

ambition rend 0

vulnerable

i
i
one's ambition make
vulnerable
'one's ambition makes 0 vulnerable'

;
I

*who
i

j
i

did [his washing the car]


i

upset e
i

Weak Crossover effects disappear when the pronominal

j
i

intervening between the operator and its variable is coin- j


dexed with a c-commanding PRO which is itself A-bound by
that operator, e.g., in (121b).
trary object able to escape the

So also is anull arbi


effects noted in (120a)

above (Authier 1987a:12).


(121) a.

[PRO

laver sa voiture] rend 0


enrage
i
i
wash one car
make
mad
'towash one's car makes 0 mad'
i

b.

who
i

did [PRO washing his car] upset e


i
i
i

Finally, Authier claims that the interpretation of null

i
!
|
'
,

objects varies according to the quantificational force of


i

whatever adverb appears in the sentence (Authier 1987a:17).


(122)

souvent , la peur pousse 0 a PRO fuir


i
i
i
often
the fear push
to flee
'often, fear pushes 0 to flee1

The only interpretation of (122), states Authier, is that


in which 'a lot of people1 flee.

j
J

This proves for Authier

Ithe syntactic reality of the operator.


On this last point, my counterarguments here are
;

|parallel to those used previously to argue against similar |

j
j claims about the quantificational force of PRO.

i
j

For in-

!stance, the Finnish example (123), I am told, has the


|

Iinterpretation predicted by Authier's analysis.


i

(123)

krapula usea-sti
saa 0 sairaa-ksi
hangover frequent-ADV make
sick-TRNS
'hangovers frequently make 0 sick'

But it also has a reading in which the adverb quantifies


over time, such that the sentence could be true even if at
one specific point in time all who had hangovers were not
i

sick.
I
As for the facts in (120) and (121), these seem to be '
part of a more general property of arbitrary null objects,
i.e., that the only two nominals which a null arbitrary
object may be coindexed with are another arbitrary null
object, e.g., in (119) above, and an arbitrary PRO, i.e.,
free PRO without a pragmatically induced interpretation.
(This Italian example is from Rizzi 1986:511).

(124)

un illusione [PRO

sperare [che

un buon

i
be a illusion
hope
that a good
pranzo possa riconciliare 0
con se stessi
i, j
meal
can
reconcile
with oneself
'it is an illusion to hope that a good meal can
reconcile 0 with oneself'
A null arbitrary object may not corefer with any nonarbitrary NP (example from Authier, p.c.).
(125)

*Jean

trouve qu'

un bon

psychanaliste peut

i
Jean think that a good psychoanalyst can
reconcilier 0 avec lui-meme
i
reconcile
with himself
'Jean thinks that a good psychoanalyst can
reconcile him with himself'
And it is not apparent how a variable analysis would
account for this restriction.

The operator is clause-

bound, and so it should be c-commanded by Jean in (125).


(126)

*Jean

trouve [OP
i

[qu'...e
i

...]]
i

This structure is of course reminescent of tough-movement


and other structures where there is coindexing of a ccommanding subject and the null operator.
(126)

John
i

is easy [OP
i

[PRO to please e ]]
i

It might be claimed that the operator in (126), which


Authier argues is distinct from the operator in (127),
cannot be coindexed with a c-commanding NP.

However, the

lack of general motivation for such a claim means that it


must be stipulated.

Since the operator itself lacks

general motivation, such a compounding of stipulations is


unexplanatory and unsatisfactory.
307

I therefore dismiss the operator analysis: it does


not correctly assess the interpretations which result from
the interaction of quantificational adverbs and the null
arbitrary object; neither does it predict all of the
restrictions upon the interpretation of the null arbitrary
object.

I now turn to my analysis of null arbitrary

pronouns in object position.


The conclusion that the arbitrary null object is a
null pronoun causes problems for Rizzi's theory of identi
fication, for he could locate no overt source of identifi
cation.

He therefore offered the following stipulatory

rule (Rizzi 1986a:521).


(128)

assign ARB to the direct theta-role

This presumably has the generality of operating in the


morphology of some languages, e.g., in the English phrase
this leads (people) to the following conclusion, and in
the syntax in Italian, among others.

The major weakness

of this analysis is that the ARB-rule does not generalize


in any interesting way to the principles involved in the
identication of nonarbitrary null pronouns.
Another less apparent weakness of Rizzi's analysis is
that he purports to demonstrate that there is a hitherto
undiscovered type of null pronoun.

The thrust of my

analysis is quite the opposite: I intend to show that this


null object is actually one more manifestation of an
arbitrary null pronoun.

And the data for the most part

supports my claim.
308

In the previous section, it was argued that a null


arbitrary pronoun is the result of a null pronoun being
identified by an element which itself has no pronominals
features, e.g., a featureless INFL or a predicate.
Indeed, wherever Rizzi argues that the true arbitrary null
pronoun exists, it is invariably the subject of a predi
cate.

(These examples are from Rizzi 1986a:503-507.)

(129) a. questo conduce 0 a [PRO concludere quanto segue]


this
lead
conclude
what
follow
'this leads ARB to conclude what follows'
b. la buona musica riconcilia 0 con se stessi
the good music reconcile
with oneself
'good music reconciles ARB with oneself'
c. un dottore serio
visita 0 nudi
a doctor serious visit
nude
'a serious doctor visits ARB nude'
d. questa musica rende 0 allegri
this
music render
happy
'this music renders ARB happy'
The null objects in (129) are linked by the rule of predi
cation to an infinitival complement, a prepositional
phrase, an adjunct phrase, and an adjectival phrase.
Since predication is involved, it is obviousthat
fication of these null pronounsoccurs within

identi

the appro

priate domain, for a subject must govern its predicate.


It might at first appear that the lack of a feature
less INFL is a shortcoming of this analysis, for it is the
case that PRO subjects are identified by both a predicate
and a featureless INFL.

However, this difference instead

explains the major difference between PRO in subject and

309

object position, i.e., why only subject PROs may receive a


controlled or definite interpretation.
Recall that null pronouns are themselves generated
without features or specifications for any features.
These two points are often conflated, as if a null pronoun
is generated with slots for person and number, though the
slots are empty.

If a null pronoun is truly featureless,

however, it will not have empty slots, either.


assume that this is the case.

Let us

Then, if a null pronoun is

associated with an identifier which has feature slots or


specifications for those slots, it receives both via the
shared indexing.
A subject PRO is associated with two items, a predi
cate which is featureless (though see below) and an INFL
which has no specification for features.

This linking

therefore transfers the empty slots in the infinitival


INFL (assuming, as is reasonable, that all INFLs contain
the feature of person) to that subject.

An object PRO,

being associated with only a predicate, does not receive


the unspecified features of INFL.

Thus, it is unable to

specify these features, and must be arbitrary in


reference.
This explains the general failure of null arbitrary
objects to receive any definite interpretation, unless the
indexing is mediated through a PRO subject.

A PRO subject

is compatible with a null arbitrary object because it


never contains specifications for its features.

That is,
310

I assume that features and specifications supplied by


identification are not altered or even supplemented by
subsequent shared indexing.
The suggestion that PRO and arbitrary null objects
are the same except for the fact that the objects are
incompatible with specified features also explains another
observed difference between the two.

Rizzi reports that

arbitrary PRO and the null arbitrary objects generally


share the same features in Italian and Spanish.

In

Italian, an arbitrary PRO triggers plural agreement on a


predicate adjective, as does a null arbitrary object
(Rizzi 1986:506).
(130) a.

b.

e difficile PRO essere sempre allegri


be difficult
be
always happy[+plural]
it is difficult to be always happy'
un dottore serio
visita
0 nudi
a doctor serious visit
nude[+plural]
'a serious doctor visits 0 nude'

He notes, however, that a singular interpretation of ar


bitrary PRO is pragmatically induced, then it is possible
for PRO to trigger singular agreement.
(131)

in una situazione di questo genere,


e difficile
in a
situation of this kind
be difficult
PRO essere sempre allegri
be
always happy[+plural]
'in a situation of this kind, it is difficult
to be always happy

Rizzi quotes an MIT manuscript by Trigo which makes a


parallel point for Spanish: in Spanish the agreement for
arbitrary readings is singular, and a pragmatically in
duced plural pattern is possible only for arbitrary PRO.

311

The fact that arbitrary PRO may have a pragmatically


induced reading and null arbitrary objects may not is not
so much an argument that the two ECs are distinct; rather,
it underlines the fundamental difference which I have just
explained.

Assuming that plural agreement in Italian is

the default value and singular agreement is in Spanish,


the difference reduces to the fact that object PROs are
incompatible with nondefault values because they contain
no feature slots.
In addition to incorporating arbitrary null objects
into my general theory of identification, this analysis
has demonstrated a wider range of adequacy than previous
analysis.

For these reasons, it should be preferred.

Note also another consequence, a partial explanation of


the distribution of PRO.

Since null pronouns are identi

fied as arbitrary only when they are coindexed with a


predicate (and perhaps a featureless INFL), PRO is
restricted to sentences without agreement and
constructions in which predication is involved.

In chap

ter five, I suggest a second limit on the distribution of


PRO.
4.4.2

Null pronouns inside NP


Having discussed PRO and null arbitrary objects, I

now turn to a discussion of a subset of English derived


nominals, with the goal of demonstrating that both sites

312

of arbitrary null pronouns are exemplified in these con%


structions.
It is shown that my analysis derives all of the facts
which follow from other analyses of these constructions,
e.g., Williams (1985,1987), though without the con
struction-specific statements and many separate explana
tory principles which these previous analyses require.
Furthermore, I demonstrate that my analysis captures
generalizations missed by other analyses.
Significantly, my analysis derives these action nomi
nals via movement, and as such it represents a partial
challenge to the lexicalist hypothesis.

The lexicalist

hypothesis, as proposed by Chomsky (1970), argued (contra


Lees 1960) that derived nominals, unlike gerundive nomi
nals, are not transformationally derived.

Three major

arguments were put forth: the fact that the formation of


derived nominals is not productive, as one would expect of
a syntactic phenomenon; the fact that the semantics of
derived nominals are not clearly derived from verb, e.g.,
the relation of marry to marriage is not direct; and the
fact that derived nominals have the internal structure of
NPs rather than that of sentences.
As an alternative to the transformational derivation
of these constructions, Chomsky suggested that argument
structures were listed in the lexical entries of categoriless roots.

In this way, a noun and a verb would share an

argument structure at some level preceding the fixing of


313

their category class, e.g., noun or verb.

The result is

that derived nominals and gerundive nominals (which are


productively formed, display a transparent semantics and
have the internal structure of sentences) have two
different structures.
(132a) gerundive nominals

(132b) derived nominals

INFL
V

NP

John
-ing refus- the offer John refusal of the offer
'John's refusing the offer'
'John's refusal of the offer
This difference has been assumed in nearly all transforma
tional generative analysis of the past decade.
It is commonly observed that arguments of a verb may
be missing in derived nominals, e.g., in the following
examples from Williams (1985).
(133) a.

the attempt to leave

b.

respect for oneself is important

c.

admiration of him

d.

the realization that John was unpopular

Williams notes that these nonexplicit arguments exhibit


behavior characteristic of arguments: the agent

of attempt

controls the subject of to leave; the agent ofrespect


binds a reflexive pronoun; the agent of admire cannot bind
a pronoun, nor can the agent of realize bind the R-expression John.
He suggests that this behavior might be attributed to
a PRO in the specifier of each of these derived nominals,
314

such that the structure of (133a), for instance, is (134)


below.
(134)

PRO

attempt

to leave

This analysis is unable to explain satisfactorily how the


specifier may be filled by some other element yet the
agentive reading is still available.
(135) a.

yesterdays attempt to leave

b.

yesterdays decision that John was the best


candidate

c.

John took Marys picture

Furthermore, it cannot account for the fact that this PRO


is not always controlled.
(136) a.
b.

John witnessed an attempt to leave


John made an attempt to leave

Williams alternatively proposes that the missing


arguments in derived nominals are implicit arguments,
i.e., unassigned theta roles in the argument structure of
the head (cf. Bouchard 1987 for a related proposal).
Implicit arguments have previously been posited for two
reasons, both of which appear to be shared by the missing
agents of derived nominals: the agent is optionally pre
sent in lexical form, yet it is always present in some
sense, because a passive sentence (or derived nominal)
licenses an agent-oriented phrase, e.g., to impress the

315

general in (138), regardless of whether the agent is


lexical or not.
(137) a.
b.
(138) a.
b.

John was sent a letter (by an anonymous


admirer)
the destruction of Rome (by the invaders)
the ship was sunk to impress the general
the destruction of the city to impress the
general

On the basis of these similarities, Williams weakens the


theta criterion, such that every thematic role need not be
assigned to an A-position, and pursues a redefinition of
binding theory (including control), such that it relates
elements of thematic structure rather than syntactic posi
tions (Williams 1987).
There are significant differences between the missing
arguments of passives and derived nominals, two in parti
cular which indicate that a single analysis should not
extend to both.

First of all, the agent of a passive,

whether lexical or not, may not enter into obligatory


control relations, but the agent of a derived nominal,
even when in a by-phrase, may.
(139) a. *Mary was promised (by me) to leave
b.

the attempt (by John) to escape

Furthermore, the agent of a derived nominal, again while


in a by-phrase, may precede its associated direct object;
a passive agent must follow.
(140) a. *John was sent by an anonymous admirer a letter
b.

the destruction by the invaders of Rome


316

I instead propose that derived nominals, at least


those for which the meaning is compositional, are
generated at d-structure in the following form, which is
then altered by movement of V to the head of NP.
(141)

INFL
the

-tion

invaders

VP.
V

NP

destroy

Rome

This d-structure captures Chomsky's observation that de


rived nominals have the internal structure of NPs while at
the same time displaying the argument structure of senten
ces.

But it also provides for a satisfactory answer to

the two criticisms made of the implicit argument hypothe


sis above.

Assuming that a rule of by-insertion Case-

marks the subject of IP in situ (cf. the rule of ofinsertion which operates on objects), that subject may
participate in obligatory control in a manner parallel to
subjects of other OC constructions.

Furthermore, it is

not necessary to stipulate that a subject in by-phrase may


precede the object of a derived nominal, for this is the
normal order of elements in IP.
This analysis derives the following phrases, assuming
that the rule of by- and of-insertion are optional, and
that an NP without Case is phonologically null.
(142) a.
b.

the destruction by the invaders of Rome


the destruction of Rome

317

(142) c.

the destruction by the invaders

d.

the destruction

The analysis also makes the prediction that it should be


possible to place all subjects of derived nominals in a
by-phrase, even when the verbal base is intransitive.
This appears to be true, for at least the following clas
ses of verbs: dive, sing, dream, cry, swim; sneeze,
aspirate, ovulate; concentrate, exercise, pray; single,
double.
(143) a. the dive

by Esther Williams into the ocean

b.

a sneeze

by a stuffy bureaucrat

c.

a prayer

by the pope for peace

d.

a single

by Chili Davis

Given this analysis, it remains to specify the type


of EC which is involved in examples where the argument is
missing.

Since the subject gap lacks any other identifier

than a featureless INFL and a predicate, my choice is


clear: the null subject of a derived nominal must be PRO,
the unspecified null pronoun.
If this subject is PRO, then we expect three possible
interpretations for this subject: an OC reading, an NOC
reading, and an arbitrary reading.
(144) a.

All apparently exist.

Rembrandt's painting of Mary

b.

John made an attempt to escape

c.

John witnessed an attempt to escape

Note how the fact that NOC and OC readings exist for these
null subjects is consistent with the fact that the PRO
318

subject shares an index with the INFL which governs it.


Even though this indexing provides no specific features,
it gives that PRO subject the features themselves.

This

contrasts sharply with null arbitrary objects.


There is one interpretation which is not predicted by
the analysis of PRO, i.e., structures which appear to fit
the requirements of OC yet for which there is no OC
reading.
(145)

the museum's painting of Mary

Here it is the case that the museum is unambiguously the


possessor of the painting, yet it is not implied that the
museum also painted it.

For my analysis to be maintained,

it must be the case that there is no PRO subject in (145),


and this is precisely what I suggest is the case.
This end is obtained by positing that the complement
of the head noun in (145) has undergone passivization,
i.e., the subject has been made implicit.

Such a rule is

motivated by other derived nominals in which the by-phrase


follows the object.
(146)

the destruction of Rome by the invaders

Let us assume that the interpretation without OC, (145),


has the structure below.
(147)

the museum's painting

[ e t
i

[ t of Mary]]
i

I have suggested that there are two possible subjects


of the IP complement to a derived nominal, PRO or the
empty subject in

(147).

Note that these are the only two

319

options, for movement of the IP subject to the specifier


of NP creates a violation of the ECP, parallel to *thattrace filter violations, because though the trace of the
subject would be antecedent-governed, it is not governed
by an open-class lexical category.
(148) a.
b.

who

do you think [t that [t left]]


i
i
i
[Rembrandts
painting [t of Mary]]
i
i

That is, I must assume that -tion is not a lexical gover


nor.

This prohibition against movement of the subject

accounts for other observed phenomena as well, e.g., the


failure of subject-raising to apply within NP (Williams
1982).
(149)

*John's appearance to be sick

Note that this analysis predicts that all NPs in the


specifier of derived nominal NPs must be possessors which
obligatorily control a PRO subject of IP.

This prediction

is correct: every specifier NP, though it may be inter


preted as an agent, is also a possessor in some sense.
The question arises as to the nature of the object of
derived nominals.

First, it is not surprising that the d-

structure object position may be filled by a trace at sstructure.

This is simply another of the subject-object

asymmetries captured by the ECP.


(150)

Rome 1s destruction

The trace of Rome in (150) is both antecedent-governed and


lexically governed by the verb destroy.

320

The more interesting case is when there is no move


ment, yet the object is null, e.g., (151), repeated below.
(151)

the destruction

By my theory of identification, there should be no null


pronoun, since there is nothing which governs and identi
fies that object.

But there are other derived nominals in

which an identifier is present, and the syntactic evidence


accordingly points to the presence of a null pronoun.
(152) a.

I invited John to play the lead role

b.

the invitation of John to play the lead role

c.

the invitation to play the lead

(153) a.
b.

role

I persuaded John to play the lead role


the persuasion of John to play the lead role

c. (John didnt need) any persuasion to play


lead role

the

(154) a. the shrink reconciled John with himself


b. the reconciliation of John with himself
c.

reconciliation with oneself

In each of the (a) examples, the object of a tensed clause


is coindexed with a PRO or reflexive.

In the (b) exam

ples, it is demonstrated that the object of a derived


nominal also controls both a PRO and a reflexive pronoun.
In the (c) examples, there is no overt object, yet the
interpretation indicates that there is a null one never
theless: for instance, in (154c), the invited is obliga
torily the player.

321

Note also that this null object may not be controlled


by any antecedent, whether by OC or NOC conventions,
unless that controller is arbitrary in reference.

This

follows from a previously posited principle, i.e., that


the predicate which identifies the null object contains no
features and so the null object, which also inherently
lacks features, is incompatible with specific features.
This general analysis does not carry over to all NPs,
only to those in which the meaning is compositional.
Thus, the lexicalist hypothesis is not denied; only the
claim that all derived nominals are derived without move
ment is challenged.

And there is another piece of evi

dence concerning null objects in these constructions which


underlines this difference.

Note the contrast between

(155a) and (155b).


(155) a. *the carpenter's construction
b.

the carpenter's constructions

On the compositional reading for construction, (155a)


fails because the carpenter is understood to refer to the
agent of the verb construct, yet there is no identifier
for the null object.

In (155b), the head noun is not

derived by movement, there being no motivation for deri


ving plural formation via movement, and so the assignment
of theta-roles is optional as it is for all nonderived
NPs.

In this way the identification quandry is subverted

and the phrase is grammatical.

322

This closes my analysis of PRO inside NP.

To sum

marize, it has been argued that certain compositional


derived nominals have at d-structure a nominal morpheme as
head and an IP.

The verb moves through INFL to N, and

arguments of the IP are made lexical via by- or of-insertion.

Where the IP subject is not made implicit via

passivization of IP and that subject is null, it is an


instance of PRO with empty feature slots, i.e., it may be
controlled.

Where the IP object has not moved to the

specifier of NP, it is a null arbitrary object, i.e., a


PRO which has no empty feature slots and so is incompati
ble with any controller with specific features.
4.4.3

Orphan prepositions and other arbitrary agreement


My one hundred language survey uncovered no excep

tions to the agreement hypothesis in adpositional phrases,


though a review of the literature revealed one possible
counterexample, the orphan prepositions in French dis
cussed by Zribi-Hertz (1985).
Orphan prepositions (OPs) are those gaps of certain
prepositions in French which receive a definite interpre
tation.

(Unless indicated otherwise, examples in this

section come from Zribi-Hertz 1985. )


(156)

les arbres , Pierre se cache toujours derriere 0


i
i
the trees
Pierre hides
always
behind
?trees, Pierre always hides behind them?

The OP is related to a linguistic antecedent in this


example, though the relation is demonstrably not that of a
323

moved element and its trace: French does not otherwise


allow preposition stranding; an OP may be associated with
a referent inside the topic rather than the topic itself;
and an OP, unlike a variable, may occur in islands (e.g.,
the complex NP in (157c)) and nonsubjacent domains.
(157) a.

*quelle chaise es-tu


monte dessus e
i
i
which chair
did-you climb upon
which chair did you climb upon?1

;
!

;
i
b. lorsque je vois un banc , je saute par-dessus 0 I
i
i;
when
I see a bench
I jump over
;
whenever I see a bench, I jump over it
c.

ce

banc , je deplore le fait queMarie refuse


i
this bench I deplore the fact that Marie refuse
de sauter par-dessus 0
!
1
!
jump
over
i
this bench, I deplore the fact that Marie
I
refuses to jump over it*
j

Zribi-Hertz never really demonstrates conclusively

!
I

what kind of EC the OP is, though her clear choice is that j


it is a null pronoun.

The evidence consists of the fol

lowing arguments: the examples in (157) show that it is


not a WH-trace; neither is it an anaphor, for it does not
conform to binding condition A, which demands an A-position antecedent in the E C s minimal governing category.
(This and the next two examples are from M. Authier.)
(158)

*le

bebe

a bave

dessus 0

i
the baby slobbered upon
the baby slobbered upon itself
By default, it is a null pronoun.

i
324

I propose instead that the OP gaps are null loca


tives, not null pronouns.

This explains why overt

locatives may be placed in these constructions without


altering the meaning of the sentence.
(159)

je m'assieds toujours la-dessus


I sit
always
there-upon
I always sit there1

It also predicts correctly that humans should marginally


serve as the antecedent for OPs, but only in a locative
sense.
(160)

il y avait une femme

dans la

foule et

quand les

i
there is
a
woman in
the crowd and when the
lumieres se sont eteintes, le meurtier a tire
lights
went out
the murderer
shot
dessus 0
i
upon
1there was a woman in the crowd and when the
lights wnet out the murderer shot at her1
This hypothesis is compatible with Z-Hs syntactic obser
vations as well.

Locatives, like pronouns, do not behave

binding condition A.
(161)

*up the hill

ran the boy there


i

Yet, like pronouns, they may be coindexed with topics.


(162)

at the

ballpark , I'll see you there


i
i

Thus, the entire range of OP syntactic behavior noted by


Zribi-Hertz is consistent with the null locative hypothe
sis as well.
Yet another superiority of the locative analysis is
that only it explains the failure of OPs to occur with the

325

prepositions a, de, par,, en, and chez (vers, which Z-H


includes in this class, does allow OPs according to
Grevisse 1969:895).

Zribi-Hertz claims that these prepo

sitions lack the necessary 'semantic weight1, though it is


left unsaid what semantic weight might be or what role it
would play in the analysis.

Under the locative hypothe

sis, the fact that these 'colorless' prepositions are more


syntactic markers than locative prepositions adequately
characterizes their failure to occur as OPs.
There remains the matter of what constrains the dis
tribution and interpretation of these null locatives.

full appreciation of the latter, I suggest, holds the key


to the former.

In the examples quoted thus far, e.g.,

(156), repeated below as (163a), a null locative is inter


preted as coreferential with a linguistic antecedent.
(163) a.

b.

les arbres , Pierre se cache toujours


i
the trees
Pierre hides
always
derriere 0
i
behind
'trees, Pierre always hides behind them'
je m'assieds toujours dessus 0
I sit
always
upon
'I always sit there'

Given a sufficiently rich context, however, the antecedent


may be pragmatically inferred.

The fact that a null

locative may refer to any linguistic or nonlinguistic


antecedent, as long as it is a location, indicates that
null locatives, like PRO, are not identified by anything
which contains specific pronominal/ locative features.
326

But it is not possible to carry this parallelism very


far, for null locatives, unlike PRO, do not cooccur with a
featureless INFL or a predicate.

Null locatives do cooc

cur with something which might be construed as agreement


without specific locative features, however.

Note the

following pairs of basic and orphaned prepositions.


(164)

a. dans
sur
sous

dedans
dessus
dessous

b. autour de
pres de
% 1 1exterieur

autour
pres
^ 1"exterieur

c . avec
derri&re
devant

de

avec
derri^re
devant

The changes in the first two classes go completely unex


plained by Zribi-Hertz's analysis.

But these are precise

ly the changes in prepositions which are required when the


object of that preposition is a locative pro-form.

Com

pare (165) below with (156) above.


(165)

a. *je m'assieds

toujours sur la

b. *je m'assieds

toujours la sur

Further, note that no such change occurs when the object


of a preposition is an overt pronoun.
(166) a.

sur moi

b. *moi-dessus
c. *je-dessus
At the very least, the locative interpretation is closely
tied to these morphological changes.

327

More likely, this morphological affix serves to iden


tify the null locative: it clearly carries a locative
feature, and it governs the null locative.

However, be

cause it carries no specific locative feature, the null


locatives are arbitrary in reference.
This analysis has no other repercussions for the
grammar of French, given the limited distribution of the
locative markers.

It does predict that null arbitrary

locatives should be possible wherever there are general


locative markers.
More generally, this analysis also predicts that
arbitrary forms of agreement should license anycategory.
Another example of this arbitrary agreement isfound

in

Cape York Creole, where the transitivity marker -im com


monly identifies a null third person object (Crowley &
Rigsby 1979:188-190).
(167) a. dog i bin bait-im
mi
dog
PST bite-TRAN me
1the dog bit m e 1
b.

c.

im bin kik-im
yu lasnait
he PST kick-TRAN you last night
?he kicked you last night1
dog i bin bait-im
0
dog
PST bite-TRAN
the dog bit him/they'

This marker cannot carry specific pronominal features


because it cooccurs with all sorts of pronominal and
nominal objects.

Instead, it merely identifies a null

object, which is most commonly associated with some third


person referent.
328

4.4.4

Null subjects of imperative sentences


The analysis I present here for imperative sentences

is actually quite simple in as much as it follows from the


theory of identification which I have developed in pre
ceding sections.

What complicates this analysis is the

ramapant confusion over the definition of imperatives.


Many investigators of imperatives include in their
analyses any sentence by which a command can be directly
uttered.

Thus, Schmerling (1975:502) claims that English

imperatives may contain a lexical subject, e.g., in (168).


(168)

you go on ahead!

Although this sentence satisfies the use criterion, it fail


other tests.

Example (168), when given the contour of the

subjectless imperative in (169a), is ungrammatical.


(169) a.
b.

go on ahead!
you go on ahead!

Note also that if (168) is accepted as an imperative,


there is no reason, other than by stipulation, to not
count (170) as an imperative as well.
(170)

somebody go on ahead!

In the survey of chapter three, I have therefore concen


trated upon those syntactic constructions which are used
solely or primarily for imperative ends.

This removes

from consideration, for instance, the subjunctive forms


which are used for polite imperatives in many of the
Romance languages, since subjunctives have a wider range
of use (e.g., in clauses subordinated under certain clas
329

ses of verbs) and there is another construction which is


limited to imperative usage.
As reported in section 3.3.1.3, imperative sentences
come in three cross-linguistic types: those with agreement
and null subjects, those without agreement but null sub
jects, and those without either agreement or null sub
jects.

The first of these I ignore here, assuming that

they fall under the provisions of identification by agree


ment discussed in section 4.1.
The focus is therefore on agreementless imperatives.
Of these there are actually three types (as opposed to the
two reported in section 3.3.1.3 and above): those in which
the subject is obligatorily null; those in which it is
optional, and those in which it is obligatorily lexical.
This is the primary data any analysis of imperatives must
explain.
Null subjects of imperatives have received little or
no attention in GB analyses of null pronoun phenomena.

In

fact, imperatives are generally ignored, though two


general approaches to imperatives

have appeared in the

literature: the performative hypothesis and two papers by


Schmerling (1975,1982).

The performative hypothesis

posits an enhanced d-structure, containing a higher per


formative verb, which is subsequently transformed via
massive obligatory deletion.

330

(171) a.
b.

I order you to bring me another beer


bring me another beerl

Schmerling (1975) is one of many articles which argue


against the performative hypothesis, e.g., on the grounds
that the derivation of (171b) cannot involve Equi-NP dele
tion (i.e., a PRO subject, in GB terms).

It might also be

argued that the deletion of the performative verb and it


arguments is apparently not constrained.
In her later paper, Schmerling suggests that impera
tives are a formally primitive type of construction, one
for which it is necessary to provide a separate grammar,
by which I suppose she means that any description of
imperatives requires statements which are specific to
imperatives.

There is no a priori reason to assume this;

in fact, such an approach should be avoided, for it com


plicates the grammar without providing any general
explanation.
A more constrained alternative, I suggest, is to
consider how the theory of identification that I have
developed in previous sections of this chapter might be
extended to the analysis of these null pronouns.
When considering null subjects without agreement in
previous sections, I have encountered three forms of iden
tification: null topics, featureless INFL, and predicates.
The latter, by itself, only identifies arbitrary null
pronouns, and so cannot be the sole identifier of impera
tive null subjects, which are definite in reference.
331

It is possible that null topics are responsible, in


which case the subject should be optional.

Where there is

a discourse topic of second person, that would identify a


null subject of an imperative; without the topic, the
subject would necessarily be lexical.

I have been unable

to test all of the agreementless languages in my survey


for which null topics are motivated, though the scenario
mentioned above appears to be exemplified by Vietnamese
and Mandarin.
Where null topics are not motivated, i.e., outside of
Southeast Asia and Oceania, this means that null subjects
of imperatives must be identified via coindexation with
INFL and its predicate.

In other words, the subject of an

imperative is identified in the same manner as the subject


of an infinitive.

This comparison might at first seem

odd, but there is evidence that infinitives and impera


tives are related.

It is common for languages to have a

single form of the verb which is used for both purposes.


More convincing are the arguments in deHaan & Weerman
(1985), who demonstrate that imperatives may function in
place of infinitives in certain subordinate clauses in
Frisian.

Although empty subjects of ordinary imperatives

are interpreted as second person singular, the empty sub


jects of subordinate imperatives may be controlled (exam
ples and rough translations from deHaan & Weerman
1985:18).

332

(172)

skamje dy/*my/*him
shame you/me/him
fbe ashamed of yourself/myself/himself'

(173) a.

b.

c.

ik bin net by steat en


skamje my hjir foar
I am NEG able
COMP shame me this for
I am not able and be ashamed of myself for
this
do bist net by steat en
skamje dy
hjir foar
you are NEG able
COMP shame you this for
you are not able and beashamedof yourself
for this
hy is net by steat en
skamje him hjir foar
he is NEG able
COMP shame him this for
he is not able and be ashamed of himself for
this

Furthermore, they may be arbitrary (deHaan & Weerman


1985:19).
(174)

it is gijn dwaan gelyk en


pleagje dy
aid
it is none doing like COMP tease
that old
man sa
man so
'it is unfair to tease that old man so'

The Frisian data makes it apparent that null subjects


of imperatives do not contain specifications for features.
Still, we know that it has the feature slots, because
these subjects are identified by INFL*

In the absence of

a linguistic antecedent, it therefore follows that the


definite interpretation of null subjects of imperatives
must be pragmatically inferred.
This follows from the use to which imperatives are
put.

The goal of an imperative is to effect some change

in the world.

Thus, the referent of that null subject

must be some entity in the world.

But because the impera

tive must be heard in order to effect any change, the

333

referent must therefore be some hearer, i.e., a second


person entity.
This explains the interpretation and identification
of null subjects of imperatives.

Yet to be analyzed is

|what allows the subject to be optionally null in some


!languages yet obligatorily null in others.
i
this point in the fifth chapter.

I return to

j
!4.4.5

Null heads of relative clauses

In a recent paper, Cole has suggested that internally


i
headed relative clauses (IHRCs), e.g., the Lakhota example
in (a) (from Williamson 1987:117) have a structure in
which an external head is syntactically represented, as in
(b).

(175) a.

b.

Mary owiza wa kage ki he ophewathu


Mary quilt a make the DEM ls/buy
?I bought the quilt that Mary made
[

[ Mary
NP CP

owiza

wa kage] 0
i

!
1

ki] he ophewathu
i

Cole's arguments for the null head are quite convincing.


He notes that it is as impossible to extract out of an

!
i
IHRC (176a) as it is out of a headed relative clause
|
i
(176b), a point which is easily captured by the assumption!
I
of a null head but anomolous otherwise (Cole 1987:286,287).
i
(176) a. *[[Juan [[0 sisa-kuna-ta japi-shka] 0 ]
|
i
i
Juan
flower-PL-ACC pick-NML
|
gushta-j] warmi ] juyaylla-mari
i
j
I
like-NML woman
beautiful-VAL
'the woman that Juan like the flowers that
|
picked is beautiful'
j

334

b. *[[Juan [[ 0

0
i

japi-shka] sisa-kuna
j

]
J

Juan
pick-NML
flower-PL
gushta-j] warmi ] juyaylla-mari

like-NML woman
beautiful-VAL
the woman who Juan likes the flowers that
picked is beautiful

!
I
i

Furthermore, again citing Williamson's Lakhota data,


iCole claims that the null head hypothesis most easily

accounts for the distribution of negative polarity items

! inside IHRCs.

The negative polarity items, tuweni and

jwazini, must generally be c-commanded by a negative in the


same clause.

In (177a), however, the negative inside the

relative clause does not license tuweni, which is the head


of that clause (Williamson 1987:179).
(177) a. *[[tuweni

pi sni] 0

ki/cha] hena

iyokipi

no one come PL NEG


DET
those happy
'those who didn't come are happy'
b.

[[suka wazini

ophewathu] 0
i

cha] sape

dog not-a
IsSU/buy
IND
'no dog that I bought is black'
In (177b), on the other hand, a matrix

sni

j
'

i
black NEG

negation marker

j
I
1

does license wazini on the internal head of the relative

clause.
j

Cole's solution is to posit a rule at LF which raises

I the internal head to the external head position.

But this

jdoes not solve the problem of how the head is identified.


For traces, the principle which provides for their identi- I
i

fication, i.e., the ECP, applies at both s-structure and


I

LF.We should also expect that pronominal identification

is relevant at both levels as well, given the proposed


parallelisms among ECs.

What then identifies the null

head at s-structure?
Cole notes that IHRCs are found only in languages in
which null anaphora (i.e., null pronouns) are generally
licit.

But it is unclear that null heads fall under the

same analysis as other cases of null pronouns, for the


head is not identified by pronominal features, e.g., those
found in agreement morphology; rather, it is interpreted
as a full noun phrase, coreferential with the internal
head.
The problem within the general context of this chap
ter is how to fit this null pronoun into the identifica
tion hypothesis as I have portrayed it thus far.

The

shared index seems clear enough, since the head of a


relative clause is generally understood to be coindexed
with some antecedent, generally a gap, in the relative
clause.

The source of the features which identify the

null head is also obvious, given the internal head.

Yet

it remains to be demonstrated that the coindexing occurs


within the government domain of the null head.
Even in headed relative clauses it is not assumed
that the head is related directly to the gap in the rela
tive clause; instead, it is assumed (e.g., in Chomsky
1977) that the gap is related to the head via an operator
in the specifier of CP, such that the structure of (178a)
is (178b).
336

(178) a.
b.

the quilt that Mary made


the quilt
i

[ OP that [ Mary made e


]]
CP i
IP
i

Assuming that this operator is part of the structure of


IHRCs as well, the domain problem is closer to being
resolved.
According to the definition of government adopted in
earlier sections of this work, it is possible

for the

quilt in (178) to govern the null operator in

the speci

fier of CP, so long as CP is not a barrier for government.


But what is required, in order to adhere to the theory of
identification, is that the operator govern the null head.
Regardless of the structure one assumes for relative
clauses, the operator does not govern the head because it
does not c-command it.

Thus, the indexing cannot be

direct.
Still, it can be maintained that the null head is
identified by that operator.

It is commonly assumed that

the head of a relative clause and the relative clause


itself are related via the rule of predication, such that
the NP (or N) and CP share an index.

The index on CP

trickles down to the head of CP, whence it is shared with


the operator in the specifier of CP by the general rule of
SPEC-HEAD agreement.

Thus, a single index is shared by

the head, the CP relative clause, the head of CP, the


operator in the specifier of CP, and the internal head of
the relative clause.

337

This analysis solves all the problems.

The null head

of IHRCs receives full nominal interpretation because it


is in a chain with a full noun.

And because the null head

is governed by the head it is related to by the rule of


predication, the government condition on the identifica
tion of null pronouns is satisfied.
Given this derivation, which has utilized no
language-specific statements, it is perhaps surprising
that IHRCs are extremely rare.

Cole suggests that this

type of structure is limited to languages with the general


possibility of null pronouns, left-branching NP struc
tures, and the requirement that anaphors cannot both pre
cede and command their antecedents.

I have nothing to add

to his distributional comments.

4.5

Null indefinite pronouns


The theory of identification has now been extended to

two types of agreementless null pronoun, without any


change in the theory of identification other than the
inclusion of topics and predicates in the class of identi
fiers.

The purpose of this section is not another expan

sion of that theory, for no further changes are necessary


for the analyses presented in this section; rather, I
include this section on null indefinite pronouns in order
to demonstrate the all-round capabilities of the theory of
identification and to address a class of null pronouns

338

which have been used to argue for other analyses of iden


tification.

I begin with a discussion of null indefinite

pronouns in Spanish, and close with an analysis of null


third person pronouns in Finnish and Hebrew.
4.5.1

'Arbitrary' plural pronouns in Spanish


Recently, Jaeggli has argued that the Spanish example

(179) contains a null arbitrary subject (Jaeggli


1986a:46).
(179)

llam-an
a la puerta
call-PRES/3p at the door
'Arb is knocking at the door'

As I pointed out in section 4.3, however, there is a wide


disparity between the behavior of these so-called
arbitrary plural subjects and arbitrary PRO, as in (180).
(180)
Both the

it is difficult PRO to shave in the morning


PRO subject and the null arbitrary'plural'

subject have

a reading which is indeterminate as to the

number of individuals involved, as Jaeggli points out.


However, only PRO is also indeterminate with respect to
the feature of person, i.e., PRO but not the null
arbitrary plural subjects can be bound by the full range
of possible antecedents.
(181) a.

I like to shave myself


you like to shave yourself
he likes to shave himself
we like to shave ourselves
you like to shave yourselves
they like to shave themselves

339

(181) b. *yo

dije que 0

llaman a la puerta
i
*tu dijiste que 0 llaman a la puerta
i
i
*el dijo que 0 i llaman a la puerta
i
i
*nosostros dijimos que 0 llaman a la puerta
i
i
*vosotros dijisteis que 0 llaman a la puerta
i
i
ellos dijeron que 0 llaman a la puerta
i
i
'they said that they are knocking at the door'
i

Jaeggli, citing Lebeaux (1984), notes an additional dif


ference: that the two arbitrary PROs in (182a) must pick
out the same group, whereas this restriction does not hold
of two arbitrary plural pronouns (Jaeggli 1986a:57,59 ).
(182) a.

b.

para [PRO divertirse durante el Carnaval] hay


for
to have fun during the Carnival has
que [PRO disfrazarse]
that
to disguise
'in order (for X ) to have fun during the
Carnival, X must wear a costume'
para que 0 veng-an a arreglar la heladera, es
for that
come-3p to to fix
the fridge
is
necessario que 0 llam-en al
tecnico
por
necessary that
call-3p to the technician by
lo menos tres veces
the least three times
'in order for X to come to fix the refrigerator,
it is necessary that X/Y call the technician
at least three times'

Thus, classification of the Spanish null subject in (179)


as arbitrary seems highly inaccurate.
A better term to describe these null pronouns, I
suggest, is 'indefinite'.

Besides, the arbitrary plurals

behave much like the English indefinite subject one, e.g., j


the warning in (183) refers to more than one individual.
(183)

one shouldn't eat before swimming

340

Likewise, the indefinite they in (184) may ultimately be


deemed to pick out only a single conspirator.
(184)

they assassinated Kennedy

And, like the Spanish subject under consideration, neither


of the English indefinite subjects is compatible with a
full range of antecedents, e.g., they may have only a
third person plural antecedent and the only possible ante
cedent of one is another one.

Given these parallels, I

henceforth refer to pronouns like the Spanish null subject


in (179) as null indefinite pronouns.
Jaeggli's analysis of the null indefinite subjects
poses two questions: why overt pronouns cannot be indefi
nite if the lexical/null alternation obtains, and why
indefinites are restricted to nonderived subject posi
tions.

The gist of his solution is that null pronouns are

[+dependent] whereas lexical pronouns are [-dependent];


the subject position is [+definite] because of the third
person plural agreement on INFL; and a verb cannot Caseor theta-mark a chain containing a [+definite,-dependent]
pronominal.
As Condoravdi (1987) points out, this analysis is
unsatisfactory because it does not provide many new
insights into the interpretation of these null pronouns.
It is also unsatisfactory because Jaeggli derives the socalled arbitrary interpretation of the null indefinite
subjects via a stipulative rule, (185), which does not
fall within the general theory of identification.
341

(185)

assign the feature ARB to [+dependent,+definite]


pronominal at LF

Condoravdi's analysis is closer to satisfying the


demands of my theory of identification.

She claims that

null indefinites are semantically equivalent to bare


plural NPs, and have but one restrictive feature [+human].
As demonstrated in section 4.1, the feature of person is
minimally required of any definite null pronoun.

Condorav

di 's [+human] feature would thus appear to be superfluous.


But it is an interesting question whether the feature
of person is equally relevant to null indefinite pronouns
as well as null definite pronouns.

Certainly, the con

straint on possible antecedents for the English indefi


nites one and they indicates that they have their person,
if not their number, specified.

Given the parallel limi

tation on possible antecedents for the Spanish null inde


finites demonstrated in (181b), I therefore assume that
person is a minimal requirement of all null pronouns,
definite or indefinite.

Furthermore, given the possibil

ity that one, indefinite they, and the null indefinite


subjects of Spanish do not pick out any specific number of
the subject, I assume that person and person only is
relevant to null indefinite pronouns.
The source of this feature is extremely obvious,
since null indefinite subjects are governed by the agree
ment in INFL.

What is not obvious, of course, is why the

number feature which is also present in the INFL of

342

Spanish sentences with null indefinite subjects, e.g.,


(179), repeated below, is ignored.
(179)

llam-an a la puerta
call-PRES/3p at the door
Arb is knocking at the door

It cannot

bethe case that a null pronoun

may choose a

subset ofthe features inthe agreement which

identifies

it, else there would be the possibility of null indefinite


pronouns in all sites which allow null pronouns, but null
indefinites are limited to the subject position, according
to Jaeggli.
Actually, Jaeggli has overstated the limitations on
null indefinite pronouns, for they are also found in the
possessor position in Finnish.
(186) a.

b.

h&n-en vaimo-nsa
3s-GEN wife-3sP0SS
his wife
0 vaimonsa
'ones wife'

What subjects and possessors share in common, and what


distinguishes both from other argument sites, is that they
are both specifiers of their phrases.

Let us assume that

both subjects and possessors therefore receive their


theta-roles in some indirect manner, e.g., via predica
tion.

This matches well the intuition that a VP is predi

cated of its subject and an N is predicated of its posses


sor, whereas the verb-object relation, for instance, is
not a predication relation at all, but only a functionargument relation, i.e., direct theta-marking.

343

The relation of predication to indefinite pronouns is


hardly obvious, though recall that in section 4.2 it was
claimed that predication alone identifies a null arbitrary
subject.

Let us assume that the predication relation also

suffices to identify the null indefinite pronouns in (179)


and (186); however, the obligatory link established by
SPEC-HEAD agreement means that at least one feature be
copied from INFL onto the subject.

Since the feature of

number is irrelevant to null pronouns, the feature of


person is instead copied, thus yielding a third person
indefinite pronoun.
Note how this analysis answers both of Jaeggli's
questions.

Indefinites are restricted to nonderived spe

cifiers (i.e., subjects and possessors) because only


these, among all arguments, receive their theta-roles via
the rule of predication.

Indefinites are expressed by

null pronouns in constructions where the null/lexical


alternation obtains because the identification provided by
predication makes it possible for the SPEC-HEAD link to be
expressed by a partial copying of features, and this
alternative, since it follows freely from general princi
ples, subverts the need for a lexical pronoun with indefi
nite features, e.g., one.
4.5.2

Null third person pronouns in Finnish and Hebrew


In this section, I discuss a related phenomenon, that

of indefinite and other incompletely specified null

344

pronouns in Finnish and Hebrew.

Unlike the Spanish inde

finite pronouns, however, the pronouns discussed in this


section are singular.

The significance of this difference

will be made clear in the following analysis.


In Finnish, there is an agreement form for every
combination of pronominal subject, where agreement marks
three persons and two numbers.
(187)

min& kirjoita-n
sinSi kirjoita-t
hSn kirjoitta-a
me
kirjoitai-mme
te
kirjoita-tte
he
kirjoitta-vat

'I write'
etc.

Yet these agreement forms are not equal for the purpose of
identifying a null subjects, however.

A null pronoun is

identified by all of the forms except for the third person


singular form.

That is, a pro identified as first person

singular has the same reference as the lexical first


person pronoun (with the expected difference in emphasis).
(188)

(minS) kirjoit-a-n
kirje-et
I
write-PRES-ls letter-ACC/PL
'I write letters'

A null subject identified by third person singular agree


ment, e.g., in example (189b) from Hakulinen and Kartunnen
(1973:161), is interpreted as indefinite (or generic, as H
& K call it).
(189) a.

b.

huomenna klo 5 hfln vo-i


nukkua
tomorrow at
3s can-PST/3s sleep
'tomorrow at 5am he/she can sleep'
huomenna klo 5 0 voi nukka
'tomorrow at5am one can sleep'

345

When there is a c-commanding NP or third person pronoun,


however, the null subject is generally interpreted as
coreferential with that NP, e.g., as a definite pronoun.
(190) a.

Pekka

tiet&& ett& 0

on oikeassa
i
Pekka know
that be right
'Pekka knows that he is right'
i

b.

Peka-n

&iti
i

tiet&& ett& 0
j

on oikeassa
*i,J

P-GEN
aunt
know that
be right
'Pekka's aunt knowsthat she is right'
It is also possible for the null third person pronoun to
remain indefinite in the presence of a possible binder,
however.
(191)

Joulupukki

n&k-e-e
i

kun 0
tek-e-e
,
arb
see-PRES-3s when
do-PRES-3s

pahaa
bad
'Joulupukki(=Santa Claus) sees when one does
bad'
Basically the same situation is evidenced in the
Finnish nominal agreement paradigm as well: an overt third
person pronoun yields a definite interpretation and a null
pronoun with third person agreement is indefinite, except
when it is interpreted as coreferential with some ccommanding NP.
(192) a.

b.
(193)

(The example in (193) from H&K 1973:159.)

h&n-en vaimo-nsa
3s-GEN wife-3sP0SS
'his wife
0 vaimonsa
'one's wife'
Pekka

voi vietellS [0
i

vaimo-nsa]
i

Pekka can seduce


wife-3P0SS
'Pekka can seduce his wife
346

A similar situation exists in Hebrew.

In this lan

guage, agreement is found only in the past and future


tenses but, as in Finnish, third person singular agreement
is insufficient to identify a definite null pronoun (Borer
1986:392).
(194) a. hu faxal
fet ha-tapuax
he eat/PST/3sm ACC the-apple
fhe ate the apple'
b.

*0 'axal 'et ha-tapu'ax

In the presence of a c-commanding coreferential NP,


though, a third person singular null pronoun is definite
(Borer 1984:222).
(195) a.

b.

talila ma'amina se
0 hiclixa
ba-bxina
i
i
Talila believe that
succeed/PST/3sf in-test
'Talila believes that she passed the test'
dani

bikes me-talila
i

se
j

tavo
*i,j

Dani ask
to-Talila that
come/FUT/3sf
'Dani asked Talila if she will come'
There are two differences between Hebrew and Finnish,
however: a third person singular pronoun in Hebrew is
never licit by itself, i.e., the null pronoun in (194b)
does not receive an indefinite interpretation in Hebrew;
and, as a result, the coreference in (195) is obligatory
in Hebrew.
Borer (1986) suggests that the above range of facts
can best be accounted for by assuming that the third
person singular INFL of past and future tenses, like the
INFL of OC infinitival complements, is anaphoric and so
requires an antecedent.

Thus, (194b) fails because it


347

receives proper identification neither from the agreement


in INFL nor a c-commanding antecedent, and (195) is licit
because the c-commanding antecedent identifies the null
i
1 pronoun.
]

Borers analysis also correctly predicts that a c-

. commanding antecedent never identifies a third person


,
subject in the present tense, because a present tense INFL
i
J is never anaphoric (Borer 1984:246).
!

(196)

*dan

1amar le-Talila
i

se

0 tamid
3
that
be late/PRES/3sf

i
J

Dani said to-Talila


m e 'axeret
always
Dani told Talila that she was always late
Note that the status of present tense INFLs does not
follow from general principles.

The feature [+anaphoric]

is not related to the presence of pronominal features in


INFL, for infinitival INFLs are also [+anaphoric] accordi ing to her analysis.

Though no one has extended this analysis to the


Finnish data, the general possibility seems clear enough,

despite the minor differences between the two languages.


Still, the parallel between these illicit
son

third per

pronouns inHebrew and OC PRO is not as complete as

Borers analysis makes it appear.

She herself notes that

i
j

the coreference properties of the two types of EC are

I
distinct in Hebrew, e.g., the antecedent of PRO is deter- !
mined absolutely whereas the controller of the
son

third per

pronouns isvariable (Borer 1984:223).

348

(197) a.

b.

Dan

'amar le-Ran 0
la-vo
i
j *i/j
Dan say
to-Ran
INF-come
'Dan told Ran to come'
Dan

'amar le-Ran
se
0
yavo
j
i,j
Dan say
to-Ran
that
come/FUT/3sm
'Dan told Ran that he(Dan or Ran) will come'
i

Furthermore, the antecedent needn't be located in the


clause which immediately dominates the clause containing
the null third person pronoun.

In the Finnish example

(198), the null pronoun may be bound by jokainen, two


clauses away, or it may be indefinite in reference (cf.
example (191) above).
(198)

a.
b.

jokainen
tietSS. ettS on suotavaa ettS
everyone know
that be advisable that
0 tule-e
aikaisin
come-PRES/3s early
'everyone knows that it is advisable that one
*come early'
'every X, X a person, knows that it is advisable
that X come early'

These third person null pronouns, where they are con


trolled, thus appear to be more like the syntactically
bound NOC PRO than OC PRO (cf. the discussion in section
4.2.2.2).
Yet even this comparison is suspect, for the third
person null pronouns are never arbitrary in reference like
NOC PRO.

For example, they cannot be coreferential with

any c-commanding antecedent, only third person ones.


Compare (199) with (190a), repeated below.
(199) a. *min&

tied&n ett& 0
i

on

oikeassa

Is
know
that
be/3s right
'I know that I am right1
349

b. *sin&

tied&t ettS 0
i

on oikeassa
i

2s
you know that you are right
(190) a.
:

Pekka

tiet&S. ett& 0
i

on oikeassa
i

j
j

Pekka know
that
be right
Pekka knows that he is right

!
Besides,according

tothe theory

I
|nounsI havedeveloped,

ofarbitrary null pro-

!
!

they pronouns

cannot bearbitrary

j because they occur where there is agreement morphology.


I

In general, the analysis I propose for these null


pronouns follows the analysis of null indefinites in
Spanish quite closely.

Specifically, I claim that because

they are also limited to specifier (i.e., subject and


possessor) positions in these languages, the null pronouns
I
are first and foremost identified via the rule of predica- ;
i
tion. The obligatory SPEC-HEAD agreement link is thus
free to copy only the feature of person onto the null
subject.

In fact, because these null pronouns are never

interpreted as definite, there is no reason to even posit

a feature of number in the INFL of these sentences.

In Finnish, a null pronoun identified by third person


agreement is identified, but it is incompletely specified
for features and so is interpreted indefinitely.

When

I
\

this null pronoun is bound, it is not unreasonable to


assume that it receives the feature of number from its
binder.

After all, the addition of features is indepen

dently required in Finnish sentences like (190), repeated

below, where a third person pronoun picks up the gender

distinction depending upon its binder.


(190) a.
j
i
!

b.

j
j

Pekka tietfifi ettfi 0


on oikeassa
i
i
Pekka know
that
be right
fPekka knows that he is right1

Peka-n

fiiti tieta.fi ettfi 0


on oikeassa
i
j
*i,j
P-GEN
aunt
know
that
be right
1Pekka1s aunt knowsthat
she is right1

j
| Note that this analysis achieves the correct interpretsi

! tions without ever requiring that the null pronoun be


inherently indefinite, for indefinite pronouns are incom
patible with a definite antecedent.
(200)

*everyone said that one should know better


i
i

In Hebrew, the only feature provided by SPEC-HEAD


agreement is again that of person, the difference being
that in Hebrew the option of a third person indefinite
interpretation is not available and so the null pronoun i s !
licit only when the null pronoun is bound by some antece
dent containing specification for number.

The interesting

j question is then why the option of indefinite interprets-

I tion is available for these incompletely specified null

j
I
j

pronouns in Finnish but not in Hebrew.


The ungrammaticality of incompletely specified null
pronouns identified by third person singular agreement in

i
1
I

Hebrew appears to be related to the fact that Hebrew has

null indefinite pronouns accompanied by third person

t
j

plural agreement, e.g., the examples in (201) from Berman

(1980:763).

Note how these null pronouns are grammatical,

whether they occur on their own or with a c-commanding


antecedent, not unlike the Finnish third person singular
forms.
(201) a. 0

omrim

se

hem

mesugaim
i /J
say/3p that they
crazy
'they say that they are crazy'
i

b.

hem

yadu se

yefatru

et

Dan

i
i, j
they know that
would fire/3p ACC Dan
'they knew that they would fire Dan'
It is no doubt significant that Finnish lacks indefinite
null pronouns with third person plural agreement.
Assume, therefore, a parameter such that indefinite
null pronouns may be accompanied by third person singular
agreement or third person plural agreement.

Finnish is

set for singular agreement; Hebrew and Spanish are set for
plural agreement.

Hebrew and Spanish differ in that what

is apparently third person agreement actually contains no


specification for number; thus, a null pronoun identified
by third person (singular) agreement in Hebrew fails
because the third person feature can only identify an
indefinite form yet indefinite pronouns in Hebrew must be
accompanied by third person plural agreement.
In this way it is possible to maintain the hypothesis
that the only pronominal feature relevant to the identifi
cation of a null pronoun is person, for the failure of a
null pronoun in Hebrew to be licit when accompanied by
numberless third person agreement is not due to the
352

failure of identification, but to the setting of an


independent parameter.
In addition, this analysis has demonstrated superior
ity over Borers analysis in three ways.

First, whereas

she stipulates that present tense INFLs may not be


[+anaphoric], the failure of present tense INFL to identi
fy any null subjects falls out naturally in my analysis,
from the lack of pronominal features in these INFLs.
Second, my analysis is simpler and more obviously moti
vated, because it does not posit a feature,
for which there is no direct evidence.

[+anaphoric],

Third, in addition

to capturing the same range of data in Hebrew, my analysis


also relates the behavior of null third person pronouns in
Hebrew to an observable difference among languages.

4.6

Identification and visibility


In this chapter, I have developed a theory of identi

fication which used as its starting point the well-known


instances in which agreement morphology identifies a null
pronoun.

It was argued that this identification had three

requirements: a shared index, features to be shared, and


that the identifier had to govern its associated null
argument.
This theory was then extended to a wide range of null
pronouns, with relatively few modifications in the theory.
It was argued that three new identifiers should be
included in a set along with agreement morphology: null
353

topics, featureless INFL, and predicates.

No changes were

required in either the shared indexing or domain condi


tions on identification.
Based upon this analysis, it does not appear that
there are any principles of identification which are para
meterized.

The only principles involved, indexing and

government, remain the same throughout the many types of


null pronouns.

Instead, the only cross-linguistic varia

tion is whether a language has agreement morphology, or


null topics, or featureless INFL.

I presume that all

languages will have predicates, such that there should


minimally be null pronouns in these contexts, unless some
other principle (e.g., the licensing requirement on null
pronouns, to be discussed in the following chapter) inter
feres.
My approach to parameters is somewhat different than
that found in other analyses of null argument phenomena in
the GB framework, many of which rely upon highly abstract
features, e.g., Rizzi (1982)!s claim that an NSL INFL is
[+pronominal, +referential], or the parameterization of
principles of UG, e.g., Manzini (1983)!s claim that ana
phoric PRO has a different binding domain than other
anaphors.

But note that it is very similar in spirit to

other GB views of parameters, e.g., Rizzi!s (1986a) asser


tion that parameterization is a matter of choosing items
from a universal set.

354

My analysis of identification has a second important


ramification, one which touches upon the issue of how it
is that elements are visible for interpretation at the
level of LF.

There are numerous hypotheses on this issue,

the most popular being that Case (among other principles)


is required for LF-visibility.

Since I discuss the possi

bility that Case is involved in more detail in the next


chapter, my comments here are directed to the hypothesis
that identification is instead responsible for LFvisibility.
LF-visibility, as it is generally proposed, is a
matter of whether an element is visible for theta-role
assignment.

The precise theta roles which a particular

head assigns are established in the lexicon, but the idea


of visibility is that that head is unable to assign them
unless there is some evidence that the relevant position
is syntactically real.

The most obvious evidence is the

case of a lexical XP occurring in the position to which


the theta role is assigned directly.

When that lexical XP

occurs outside the theta-position, e.g., as does the sub


ject of an English passive sentence, the fact that there
is a lexical subject without a theta-role leads to the
conclusion that this XP is linked to the theta-position
and again visibility is satisfied.
It is also quite simple to demonstrate how my theory
of identification also leads to LF-visibility.
instance, the example of null direct objects.

Take, for
A transi
355

tive verb has a theta role to assign to this position but


first there must be some evidence.

By my analysis, this

evidence follows from the index a null pronoun shares with


its identifier.

That is, once identified by my theory, a

null pronoun is identified for theta-marking.

The exten

sion to moved null pronouns follows the arguments of the


previous paragraph in all other respects.
In other words, the requirement that an EC be identi
fied is nothing less than the requirement that an argument
be visible for interpretation.

356

5.0

Licensing and null pronouns

At the end of chapter three, it was noted that there


were a large number of counterexamples to the agreement
hypothesis.

In (86) of section 3.5, repeated below as

(1), the prediction was that only the 0+A (null pronoun
with agreement) and *0-A (obligatorily lexical pronoun
without agreement) columns should be filled by positive
(+) entries and that these columns should uniformly be
positive.
<
i
o

Sthem
Sinf
Simp
EXE
Dobj
Iobj
Poss
PPobj

0+A
+
+
+
+
+
+
+
+

+
+
+
+
+
+
+
+

*0+A
+
-

+
-

*0-A
+
-

+
+
+
+
+
+

But a cursory examination reveals not only a negative


entry in one of these two columns, but ten other positive
entries in the other columns.
In the preceding chapter, I proposed that agreement
was not the only form of identification, though I did
assume that the conditions under which agreement identi
fies a null pronoun were at the core of an expanded theory
of identification.

In developing this expanded theory,

which consisted mostly of discovering identifiers other


than agreement, I was able to incorporate most of the
counterexamples to the agreement hypothesis into my
expanded theory.

357

That is, in (2), a more general theory of identifica


tion replaces the theory of agreement identification, and
the inventory of counterexamples shrinks enormously.

In

the second column of (2), which designates null pronouns


without means of identification, there remain only the
direct and indirect objects of Japanese and other agreementless languages, which I failed to provide an analysis
for in section 4.2.2.

However, all other counterexamples

in this column have been explained by the general theory


of identification.

Compare (1) with (2).


O+ID

Sthem
Sinf
Simp
EXE
Dobj
Iobj
Poss
PPobj

+
+
+
+
+
+
+
+

O-ID

*0+ID

*0-ID

+
-

(+ )
(+ )
-

+
+
+
+

Ignoring the two Japanese-type counterexamples, which


I continue to hope can be explained by the proper state
ment of the theory of identification, this leaves four
cells at odds with the predictions of the identification
(nee agreement) hypothesis, and these four form the basic
motivational core of the present chapter.

These are the

two positive entries in the *0+ID column and the two


negative entries in the *0-ID column.

Since these four

cells range over three sites, i.e., thematic subjects,


subjects of infinitives, and nonthematic subjects, I treat
these as three problems rather than four.

358

The first unexpected type, given the previous chap


ter's theory of identification, are the few languages
where there is agreement yet no null thematic subjects,
e.g., Icelandic and standard German.

It is interesting

that Icelandic has been investigated for null pronoun


phenomena for the past ten years, yet there has never been
any real explanation for the lack of null thematic pro
nouns in this language.

It has been suggested numerous

times that Icelandic (and other languages of this type)


fail to have null subjects because of insufficiently rich
agreement, though richness of agreement is a notion which
has never been satisfactorily defined.
Nor is it clear that it can be.

The agreement para

digm of Icelandic unambiguously identifies four of six


pronominal subjects yet no thematic subjects may be null.
(3)

Is
2s
3s
lp
2p
3p

*(eg)
*(/*u)
*(hann)
*(vi^)
*(^i%)
*(^eir)

hef, hefi
hefur, hefir
hefur, hefir
httfum
hafi^
hafa

'I have'
etc.

This is as much information as is given in the Spanish


imperfective tense, and it is four times the number of
distinctions found in Sao Tome Creole, where only a single
person-number combination is identified by agreement.

Yet

both of these languages have null thematic subjects while


Icelandic does not.
Even if the definition of rich agreement can be
manipulated in such a way as to draw the line between

359

Icelandic and NSLs (like Spanish) there remains a situa-

tion which absolutely cannot be overcome by the analyst


depending upon richness of agreement.

That is, how to

differentiate Bavarian German, a NSL, from standard


German, a nonNSL, even though both share exactly the same
agreement paradigm.
The obvious conclusion is that there is some con
straint on null pronouns independent of identification.
This conclusion can as easily be reached by consider
ing either of the other two counterexamples in (2).

PRO,

the null subject of a nonfinite clause, is always identi


fied by the predicate of its clause (and sometimes by a
featureless INFL as well).

Therefore, it should always be

licit when null, and this is apparently the case.

How

ever, there is nothing in this analysis of PRO which


explains the lack of a lexical alternative to PRO.

Since

this observation cannot be due to identification, it must


be due to something else, e.g., licensing.
The third site in which unexpected behavior is
encountered is the nonthematic subject position.

That

there should be problems in this site is perhaps itself


unexpected because these pronouns are always identified,
i.e., it is identification by their predicates which
accounts for the distribution of nonthematic subjects.
But this creates two problems.

First, it means that where

there are lexical nonthematic subjects, they are lexical


despite being identified.

Secondly, it means that there


360

cannot be a lexical nonthematic pronoun which is


unidentified.

As concluded in the preceding discussions

of the other counterexamples in (2), it must therefore be


the case that there is some additional constraint on
pronouns which is responsible for these pronouns being
lexical in some instances and null in others.
The primary goal of this chapter is to uncover these
additional constraints, which, following the parallels
between other ECs and null pronouns, I propose to be the
principles which license null pronouns.
I begin the search for these principles with an
overview of licensing in general and a review of previous
analyses of null pronoun licensing.

It is concluded that

Case theory is the relevant module of grammar, though,


contra Rizzi (1986), I argue that it is the lack of Case,
rather than its presence, which licenses null pronouns.
In other words, I propose that Case makes elements visible
at PF, i.e., lexical.
In the second section, I provide an analysis of
nonthematic and thematic subjects in terms of this Caseas-lexicalization hypothesis.

First, it is determined how

languages vary with respect to the lexicalization of null


pronouns; once the types are isolated, I propose indepen
dently motivated parameters which make the desired dis
tinctions between these types; finally, it is demonstrated
how the interaction of two new parameters for subjects and

361

the parameter of Case direction yields the observed types


and only these.
In the third section, I examine the adequacy of my
theory of licensing in two ways.

First I extend the range

of the analysis to include null pronouns in nonsubject


positions.

No further parameters need be posited to

accomplish this task.

Next, I discuss the change from a

NSL to nonNSL which has occurred in the history of French.


As expected, the stages conform to the types isolated in
section two; it is further shown that the changes
mediating between stages can be simply and transparently
motivated.
The fourth section is comparative in nature.

There,

the predictions of my analysis are shown to be much more


adequate than any previous analysis.

I conclude this

chapter with a brief summary and ruminations on the rami


fications of my theory of licensing.
Note that the approach I have sketched in the preced
ing paragraphs varies from that generally employed in GB
analyses.

That is, the core notion which drives this

analysis is not so much some preconceived principle of


grammar which is posited with the goal of tying together a
number of seemingly unrelated areas of the grammar.
Rather, at the core of this analysis is the goal

of

adequately capturing the generalization which relates the


three types of counterexamples, since they are clearly
related.
362

This reliance upon the data was also found in the


previous chapter, as well as in the analysis of compara
tive phrases and Dutch d-structure order in section 1.4.
And in fact it is this emphasis upon an early awareness of
types what defines the methodology I have called deep
typology.

5.1

Principles of licensing
A priori, it is not clear what a licensing principle

might be.

Even Rizzi, who first focused attention on

licensing, does little to narrowly characterize what it


might be, for his claim (Rizzi 1986:518) that licensing
principles state the conditions which allow a null pronoun
to occur in a given environment is so vague as to include
identification.
What seems clearest, given the three counterexamples
discussed in the introduction to this chapter, is that the
principles of licensing must be distinct from those
involved in the identification of a null pronoun, for if
identification alone is the only requirement of a null
pronoun, then there should be null thematic subjects in
Icelandic, null nonthematic subjects in every language,
and a lexical alternative to PRO, i.e., the counter
examples in (2) should not exist.

363

5.1.1

Licensing of ECs

Any discussion of licensing conditions as a separate


dimension of the analysis of null pronouns must begin with
Rizzi (1986), who proposed 1) that all ECs are both iden
tified and licensed and 2) that the principles of identi
fication and licensing are in some sense similar for all
ECs.

In terms of identification, the similarity between

ECs is captured partly by coindexing.

The fact that an

NP-trace shares an index with its argument antecedent, a


WH-trace is linked to an A '-antecedent, and (for Rizzi and
many others) PRO is coindexed via Control theory motivated
Rizzi to conclude that the identification of a null pro
noun also occurs via shared indexing.

This conclusion is

not contradicted by generative analyses of null pronouns,


all of which coindex a null pronoun with some identifier,
and it served as the starting point for the analysis of
identification in the preceding chapter.
Whereas many analyses of null arguments go no further
than identification, Rizzi posited another requirement of
null pronouns, parallel to the principles which license
other ECs.

In particular, he claimed that government is

involved in the licensing of null pronouns; after all, NPtraces and WH-traces must be properly governed according
to the ECP, and PRO (again, for Rizzi and others) is
licensed by way of being ungoverned.
I too have recognized that government is involved in
the analysis of null pronouns, though in the previous
364

chapter it was argued that government plays a role in


identification, i.e., shared indexing need occur within a
domain defined by government.

But it still may be the

case that government is involved in the licensing of null


pronouns in some other sense as well.

The ECP has two

angles to it: one which says that the antecedent of a


trace must occur within a specific domain, and the second
that some lexical element must govern the trace.

The

first of these is clearly a matter of identification; the


second, which also involves government, is not.
It might be supposed that the licensing requirement
on null pronouns (and traces) states that they must be
governed.

This is essentially the view of licensing

implicit in works like Taraldsen (1980) and Huang (1984)


and explicit in Adams (1987), who adds that government is
directional.

But government (whether directional or not)

is entirely redundant, given the requirement from the


theory of identification that an EC be coindexed within a
particular governing domain.

Furthermore, it yields the

incorrect expectation with respect to the counterexamples


which define this inquiry into licensing.

Not every null

pronoun which satisfies the theory of identification is


licit.
null.

Neither are all (identified) nonthematic pronouns


Therefore, the licensing principle must be strong

er, i.e., if it does involve government, it must also


involve some notion which supplements government.

365

This approach is implicit in quite a few analyses of


null pronouns.

Rizzi (1982), for example, suggested that

a null subject is governed by a [+pronominal,+referential]


INFL.

This analysis is capable of explaining the

Icelandic problem: INFL in this language cannot be


[+referential].

Similarly, the nonthematic pronoun situa

tion can be resolved using these features.

However,

neither solution is anything more than an abstract and ad


hoc listing of the data, for Rizzis features lack any
justification outside of null subjects.
This analytical shortcoming is overcome in two dif
ferent traditions concerning null pronouns, both of which
argue that null pronouns are licensed via government-based
modules of the grammar.

Travis (1984) alone has proposed

that the relevant module is theta theory, or some exten


sion thereof.

She claims that null pronouns are licensed

when they are complements, i.e., when they occur in posi


tions adjacent to a possible theta-assigner.

This analy

sis makes interesting predictions concerning the structure


of NSLs, a point I return to in sections 5.2 and 5.4
below.
The second tradition, upon which I base my analysis,
depends upon Case theory to license a null pronoun.

In

Jaeggli (1982) and Bouchard (1984), the role Case plays is


negative, such that a null pronoun must avoid direct Case
assignment.

For Jaeggli, null pronouns are licensed

366

(though he did not refer to it as licensing) by the fol


lowing statement.
(4)

*[PRO,+Case] if it is c-governed [i.e., governed


by a Case-assigner]

In a NSL, a null subject is never c-governed by INFL


(though it receives Case via agreement with INFL); a null
object is c-governed by its verb but (4) is obeyed because
the clitics which identify a null object in Spanish absorb
objective Case.

Bouchard's approach is more abstract and

less motivated: he argued that Case assignment at sstructure causes lexicalization at PF, and that Caseassignment in NSLs may be delayed until LF, which does not
feed PF.
These are not the only possible hypotheses concerning
Case and licensing, of course.

Rizzi (1986), in particu

lar, takes the opposite track.

After realizing the weak

ness of government itself as a licenser of null pronouns,


Rizzi claimed that a null pronoun is positively Casemarked.

This claim is motivated by the failure of an

arbitrary null object of an Italian passive to remain in


situ, like the lexical NP in (5a) (Rizzi 1986:524).
(5) a.

b.

0 ne
e
stato fotografato uno nudo
of-them has be
photograph
one nude
'one of them has been photographed nude'
EXE vengono fotografati 0 nudi
are
photograph
nude
'they
are photographed nude'
DEF/*ARB

The fact that an arbitrary null pronoun is illicit in


these contexts, Rizzi concluded, follows from the fact
367

that the passive verb cannot assign Case to the null


pronoun.
The choice between positive and negative Case as the
licensing principle for null pronouns seems a simple one.
The best argument comes from the supposed parallelism
between ECs.

Whether one argues that PRO is governed or

ungoverned, a null pronoun or a null anaphor, it is clear


that it is not Case-marked.

(Cf. also the arguments in

section 4.4.2 concerning Caseless null pronouns inside


derived nominals.)
Caseless.

Furthermore, NP-traces are always

Note also that Jaeggli's analysis of Case-

absorption by clitics, which explains the limited nature


of clitic doubling in Spanish, also indicates that null
direct objects, at least those identified by clitics, are
Caseless null pronouns.

Of course, this raises the ques

tion of WH-trace and Case, a point which I return to in


the following section.
As for Rizzi1s data in (5), this same effect can be
attained via my theory of identification.

Though the

lexical object in (5a) is assigned nominative Case


(through a Case-chain of some sort), this indirect Case is
not strong enough licensing for Rizzi.

But the mere fact

that the direct object receives nominative Case also means


that INFL agrees with it.

This agreement gives the null

object pronominal features; thus, it cannot be arbitrary.


The hypothesis that the lack of Case licenses null
pronouns is also superior to the positive Case hypothesis
368

when it comes to the problems noted at the beginning of


this chapter.

One might suppose that Icelandic lacks null

thematic pronouns because the subject position they occur


in is always Case-marked in this language; Case might also
adequately characterize the environments in which lexical
nonthematic pronouns appear.
Finally, this hypothesis makes two correct predic
tions about PRO.

First, the lack of lexical PRO follows

from this hypothesis and the assumption that infinitives


do not (normally) assign nominative Case.
accounts for the distribution of PRO.

Second, it also

In Chomsky (1981),

the distribution of PRO follows from the PRO theorem, an


ad hoc stipulation.

Under the present account, this dis

tribution falls out from the interaction of universal


principles.

That is, PRO can only occur in Caseless,

theta-marked positions which are identified by a predicate


(and perhaps a featureless INFL).
The positive Case hypothesis, on the other hand,
though compatible with any number of solutions for these
problems, is not itself suggestive of any particular
analysis.

That is, if both null pronouns and lexical NPs

can be Case-marked, Case obviously does not distinguish


between them.

But the null-lexical distinction defines

the theory of licensing for me; thus, any failure to


address that distinction is clear evidence that the posi
tive Case hypothesis is inadequate.

369

5.1.2

Case theory revisited

I provided a standard account of Case theory in


chapter one, the principles of which are repeated in (6)
through (8).

Minimally, Case theory consists of a series

of statements which relate Case assigners, Case assignees


and Cases; a Case filter; and two parameters.
(6)

a. an NP is nominative if governed by

INFL [+AGR]

b.

an NP is accusative if governed by a transitive


verb

c.

an NP is oblique if governed by P

(7)

*NP, where NP has a phonetic matrix but no Case

(8) a.

Case is assigned either to the right or to the


left

b.

Case-assigner and Case-assignee must/must not


be adj acent

This version of Case theory was sufficient to explain the


four basic word order types in the first chapter, though
various facts indicate that it is inadequate for the task
at hand.
The fact is that the theory of Case presented in (6)
through (8) is one in which Case is optional.

The rule of

lexical insertion either applies or it does not, yielding


lexical or null pronouns respectively, and the output is
constrained by the various conditions and parameters.

lexical NP must be Case-marked according to (7), but a


null pronoun may be Case-marked or Caseless.

However, we

have already come across a situation which makes it

370

extremely clear that there is no such thing as a Casemarked null pronoun.


Recall the Classical Arabic constructions with non
thematic

subjects discussed in section 3.4.1.4.

Imper

sonal constructions display no overt nonthematic subject


in main clauses.
(9)

yabduu ?anna ?al-?awlaada saafaruu


seem
that the-boys
travel
'it seems that the boys traveled'

When such a construction is embedded under the complemen


tizer ?anna, however, an overt invariable clitic appears.
(10)

qaala ?aHmadun ?anna-hu yabduu ?anna...


say
Ahmed
that it seem
that...
'Ahmed said that it seems that...'

When the subject of the subordinate clause is thematic and


preverbal, it is assigned accusative Case (Mohammad,
p.c. ).
(11)

...?anna ?al-?awlaad-un ?ishtaruu


kitaab-an
DEF-boy/PL-ACC buy/PST/3pm book-ACC
'...that the boys bought a book'

The general point seems clear enough: when the complemen


tizer ?anna appears in a structure, it must assign Case.
It is conceivable that ?anna is the only obligatory
Case-assigner, but unless there is specific evidence that
this Case-assigner is exceptional in that respect, it is
more likely that all Case-assignment is obligatory.

Note

that the same conclusion follows from the consideration of


any lexical nonthematic pronoun: where nonthematic sub
jects occur, the position calls for either a lexical
pronoun or a null pronoun, and (almost) never an
371

optionally null one.

This contrasts sharply with thematic

pronouns, of course, which are optionally null in all but


a few languages.

Assuming that Case is obligatory, it

follows that these pronouns are lexical precisely where


they receive Case; any other theory of licensing is unable
to explain these distributional facts.
The obligatoriness of Case can be achieved through
minor revisions in Case theory.

In particular, it is only

necessary to strengthen the Case filter, such that it


states a biconditional relation, given in (12) below,
rather than the implicational one in (7).
(12)

NP[+lexical] <--- > Case

An apparent shortcoming of this hypothesis is the


fact that Caselessness does not transparently extend to
all ECs.
marked.

WH-traces, in particular, are commonly CaseThis status follows from standard assumptions

about Case and movement; furthermore, as Jaeggli (1980)


has pointed out, the claim that WH-trace but not PRO is
Case-marked, in conjunction with the claim that Case is
visible at PF, predicts the success of want+to contraction
in only the latter environment.
(13) a.

who do you want to take you to the party

b. *who do you wanna take you to the party


(14) a.
b.

I want to go to the party with the Gang of 4


I wanna go to the party with the Gang of 4

Since it seems undeniable that WH-trace is Casemarked (or at least the A'-chain itself, cf. the French
372

examples like quel gargon crois-tu etre le plus intelli


gent de tous? discussed in Kayne 1981), my ploy is to
explain how it is that a Case-marked NP is an EC.

This

can be accomplished with minor revision of (12), such that |


in addition to Case, pronominal features are a precondi-

|
i
I

tion to lexicalization.
i
j

(15)

NP[+lexical] <--- > Case + F


where F = {person, number, gender}

IGiven the assumption that features occur only on the head


of chains, the following four types fall out.
(16)

Case
a.
b.
c.
d.

lexical NP
WH-trace
null pronoun
PRO, NP-trace

Features

+
+

Lexical
+

Note how the typology in (16) classifies PRO


separately from other null pronouns, even though I have
claimed that PRO is a null pronoun.

This should not be

surprising, given the different identifiers discussed in


the previous chapter.

Neither is the any confusion

caused by classifying PRO and NP-trace together: the


difference, I presume, falls out from Theta theory.
In its parts, my analysis is akin to that found in
Bouchard (1984:41).

The Case filter in (15), in fact,

varies not at all from his Principle of Lexicalization.


The difference is that Bouchard claimed that Case (and
feature-assignment) could be delayed until LF in a NSL, an
i

|analysis I have characterized as without independent


[motivation.

In the remaining sections of this chapter, I


373

propose that Case applies at s-structure for all lan


guages, and I derive the contrasts between NSLs and
nonNSLs on the basis of (independently motivated) struc
tural differences.
I also disagree with Bouchard's analysis of WH-trace.
i

jWH-trace is null for him because the Case assigned a WHtrace is absorbed by its antecedent; instead, I maintain
that Case remains with the trace, which explains why
contraction is blocked in (14).

My solution thus avoids

Bouchard's prediction that a variable's antecedent should


always be lexical because it is always Case-marked.
Though his analysis correctly predicts that the A'-

i
\

operators in WH-questions are always lexical, not all

binders of variables are lexical, e.g., the nonovert


operators which are widely agreed to bind variables in
such structures as tough-movement, transitive purposive
clauses, infinitival relatives, and parasitic gaps.
5.1.3

Licensing and visibility

'
i
Before demonstrating the particulars of how the prin- |

ciple of Caselessness enters into specific analyses of

i
i
null pronouns, it is instructive to put my hypothesis in a j
wider perspective.
The starting point for this perspective is the dis
cussion of identification and visibility in the conclusion i
i

of theprecedingchapter.
sis that

an NPmust

There,

bevisible

Iaddressed

at LF

the hypothe- 1

in order to receive

!
j

1
374

theta role assignment.

At LF, I noted, as at s-structure,

lexical requirements are not always met directly; in cases

of movement, a lexical element in one position may be


related to a theta-role assigned to another position.

The

moved element, of course, receives its theta role only

<

because it is related to the theta-marked position: this

irelation is, I argued, a coindexing of the associated

positions within

a limited domain, i.e., identification.

Likewise, I suggested that

it was the shared index which


!

identifies null pronouns that makes null pronouns visible


at LF.
Though the issue was not addressed in depth during
the discussion of LF-visibility in the previous chapter,
it has been claimed by numerous analysts (e.g., Aoun 1985

and Chomsky 1985) that Case is relevant to LF-visibility:

j
i
a visible A-chain has Case or is headed by PRO. |

(17)

Two arguments in particular are often cited in support of

the LF-visibility hypothesis.

First, the claim that all A-chains (other than PRO)


must be Case-marked predicts that argument PPs, e.g.,

!
I
j

under the stars in (18), should be obligatorily Case-

marked when they

appear as the subject of infinitives.

(18) a. *under
the stars to seem the best place to sleep,i
you have to be crazy
b.

for under the stars to seem the best place to


sleep, you have to be crazy

But there are other possible analyses of this contrast.

:
I
t
i

Let us assume, as does Fabb (1984), that all XPs require

Case.

Then, unless the PP subject of (18) is Case-marked,

it cannot be lexical.

And if it is not lexical, as in

(18a), then the sentence cannot have the meaning of (18b)


because there is nothing which identifies the PP as such.
I
!
Furthermore, it is not an option for the subject in
!
; (18), nor the subject in (19) either, to be Caseless.
i
i

(19) a. *there to be a present for you under the tree


Christmas morning, you must be good all year
b.

for there to be a present for you under the tree1


Christmas morning, you must be good all year 1

Without a highest specified head, the infinitival sentence ;


is a predication, according to the (85) of section 4.3.3,
modified below as (20).
(20)

XP is a predicate iff X is without features

i
As such, the infinitival must be linked to some antece
dent, with the result that the nonthematic subject is

controlled; yet nonthematic subjects are incapable of

reference.

Therefore, the infinitival sentence cannot be

a predication.
I have mentioned two ways in which an infinitive
might escape being a predicate; if the head of CP is
filled with features via subcategorization, e.g., the way
a sentential complement to a verb like wonder subcate-

gorizes for a WH-complement; or if the subject of the

i
I

infinitive is lexical, e.g., in Exceptional Case-Marking

constructions.

Only the second of these options is avail

able in (18) and (19), and so a dummy Case-assigner is


inserted in both (18b) and (19b).

The second argument for Case as LF visibility is that


NPs not in A-chains should not receive Case.

This is

meant to account for the lack of Case on the bracketed

^
i
|

nonargument NPs in the following examples.


(21) a.
I

John is [a fine mathematician]

b.

John did it [himself]

(Chomsky 1985:95)

c.

I saw him [the day before yesterday]

d.

the [solid gold] watch

i
!
i

(Fabb 1984:54)

i
In English, it is difficult if not impossible to decide
whether this prediction is correct, for abstract Case
rarely has a surface reflex in this language.

However, in

languages with rich morphological systems, e.g., Finnish,


the structural equivalents to the first three of
sentences do display overt case.

these

All Finnish examples of

the sort in (2Id) are compounds.


(22) a.

poija-t
ovat opiskelija-t
boy-NOM/PL be
student-NOM/PL
'the boys are students'

b.

saan-ko
puhutella johtaja-a
be able-Qprt speak
manager-PART
itse-&-&n?
self-PART-3sP0SS
'may I speak to the manager himself?

c.

min& leikkesin lihS-Sn kolmannen kerra-n


I
cut
meat-ACC third
time-ACC
'I cut the meat for the third time'

I
|
|

|
i

Assuming that the morphological case in (22 ) is evidence

of some universal process of Case, the LF-visibility hypo


thesis does not make the correct prediction in these cases
after all.

377

In my discussion of LF-visibility in section 4.5, the


question of whether Case is relevant to LF-visibility
never arose; the two paths to LF-visibility, identifiesI

tion and lexicalization, were not discussed in terms of

j Case.

In that chapter, I made it very clear what a theory

|
\

of identification was, but lexicalization remained a


*

. mystery.

At this point, of course, there is no mystery.

In

this section I have argued that lexicalization follows


| from the conjunction of Case and features.

Thus, it is

! obvious that Case is relevant to LF-visibility, if only


because lexical (i.e., Case-marked) NPs are visible at LF.
Given that identification is also relevant to LF visibil
ity, though, the pairing between LF-visibility and Case is|
less than one-to-one.

If the arguments of this section are correct, however, there is a one-to-one correlation between Case and

!
i

visibility at PF (at least for NPs, though cf. Fabb 1984


for the extension of Case and LF-visibility to other
categories).

This hypothesis, stated in (15), will be

henceforth referred to as the Case-as-lexicalization


!

hypothesis.
5.1.4

Positions for Caseless pronouns


Two of the universal aspects of the theory of licens-

i ing have now been proposed and motivated: the Case-asI


; lexicalization hypothesis and a theory of obligatory Case I
i

I
I
378

assignment.

Adoption of both these hypotheses forces a

third position as well, for if Case must be assigned to an


t
argument position , e.g., the subject in tensed sentences, |
I

[ and Case causes obligatory lexicalization of that argui


| ment, there would seem to be no source for null, i.e.,

Caseless, pronouns, save in those environments in which


I
i Case is never assigned. But this is clearly not the
I
j situation. Null pronouns alternate with lexical pronouns
; in nearly all languages.

It would therefore seem neces-

:
J
1

; sary to posit an additional and Caseless site for pro-

!
i
j

nouns.

In this subsection I propose to proliferate the num- j


ber of sites for subjects and other arguments.

In so

i
I
j
behavior in particular languages, but also provide a solu-|
arguing, I not only explain otherwise puzzling syntactic

tion to the quandary posed above.

That is, assuming that j

Case is directional, if there are two positions for an

argument, then only one of them may contain Case-marked


lexical pronouns.

Pronouns in the Caseless position, of

course, would be null.

I discuss two such extra posi

tions, one for subjects and the other for direct objects,
though I assume that the arguments and conclusion extend

to other phrasal categories as well.

The search for extra subject positions is not ori-

I
i

ginal to the present work.

Many analysts have proposed

that inverted subjects occur in a base-generated postverbal position, for instance.

t
j

Even the ploy of creating |


I
i
379

an additional subject position for null subjects is not


especially new.

For example, Safir (1985) has suggested


i

that the theta role for null subjects is generated in

INFL.

Travis (1984), although she did not create a new

^ position per se, has argued that a null subject is

generated in a position adjacent to VP, where it can be

I assigned its theta role as a complement rather than

through predication.

Adams (1987), too, has been

I concerned with the particular site a null pronoun occu!

pies, though she defines that position by directional


government.

Each of these analyses is discussed in detail

in section 5.4.
It has long been held that subjects occur in the
specifier of IP position, e.g., in (23a).

Given the

tradition behind this assumption, I accept as one


possibility.

However, given the need for a second

I
j

pposition, such that one of the two may be Caseless and


thereby allow null subjects, I posit a second subject
position in complement of IP, in (23b).

i
(23) a.

^IP
SUB J
^ 1 '^
INFL

b.

^-IP
SPEC

|
SUBJ V P !
I
The evidence I present in favor of the subject com
VP

^-1
INFL

plement position comes from three sources: double subject

constructions, VSO languages, and subject inversion.

!
i
Dutch (including the nonNSL dialect A), like many of |

the Germanic languages, has constructions in which a non! thematic subject cooccurs with a thematic subject.
I

.
'
J

380

(24)

er hebben enkele mensen mij hun


boeken
have
some
people me their books
verkocht
sold
'some people have sold their books to m e '

In some of these languages, e.g., Icelandic, it has been


i
|claimed (e.g., in Platzack 1983) that the dummy element is

Ia topic occurring in the specifier of CP rather than a

subject, but this reanalysis is not available in Dutch,

for the lexical nonthematic element is also found in

|
I
|

subordinate clauses, as is expected only if the nonthematic element is a subject.


(25)

...dat er enkele mensen mij hun


boek geven
that
some
people me their boek gave
'...that some people gave me their book'

Assuming that both the nonthematic and thematic elements

are subjects, there being no other obvious alternative, it

follows that there are two subject positions.

|
!

The first

of these, i.e., the site occupied by the nonthematic


subject in (25), appears to be the specifier of IP, since
it is located inside the complementizer.
The site of the second subject, i.e., the thematic
i
subject in (25), is somewhat more problematic.

Thiersch

(1978), in noting sentences like (25), opted for an ad hoc


|

adjoined position.

In recent work motivated by other

syntactic evidence, the d-structure position of thematic


subjects has been variously adjudged to fill the specifier
of VP (Kuroda 1986, Kitagawa 1986), a position adjoined to|
V' (Fukui 1986), or the subject of a small clause complement to IP (Koopman & Sportiche 1985, Manzini 1986).

All
381

but Manzini recognize the existence of the [NP,IP]

position as well.

In (23b) above, I have represented the second subject;


j
position as a complement of INFL, i.e., as a sister to VP. j
In part, this reflects the fact that I have assumed the
;predication analysis of small clauses in previous chap! ters.

Recall, for instance, that the theory of identifi

cation makes available to a PRO subject the possibility of


specific reference if and only if that PRO is coindexed
with an INFL.

The fact that the predicate naked in (26)

i has as its subject the NP John is therefore incompatible


with the clausal analysis of that predicate.
(26)

John photographed the car naked

That is, the predicate cannot be [PRO naked].

I therefore

have eschewed a clausal analysis of the d-structure sub


ject position.
The remaining alternatives I have also not chosen,
for the reason that the specifier of VP serves a different
purpose in my analysis of null objects (cf. section 5.3).
This point is also addressed in my discussion of Mandarin
objects below.
The hypothesis that thematic subjects are generated
in the complement of IP (at least in certain languages )
i
also has significant ramifications for the analysis of VSO
wordorders.

These cannot bebase-generated if

VPconsituent, asargued

inMcCloskey

there

I
is aj

(1983). Thus,

|
i

Sproat (1985) argued that VSO order is derived from an

i
i

i
382

underlying SVO order via movement of V to INFL.

Sproat's

analysis requires an additional movement, however, because


he assumes that the subject position is [NP,IP].

The

i
I
derivation thus also requires the adjunction of INFL to S, i
i
the result of all the movements being something like (25). !
(27)

V + INFL

NP

Tf

NP
i
V-INFL movement apparently operates in many languages
(cf. Koopman 1984b, Koster 1976, Torrego 1985) and it
follows general principles of movement (cf. Chomsky 1986).
But there is

reason to question the

INFL-adjunction rule.

According to

status ofSproat's
Chomsky(1986), the

general possibility of a lexical category moving via


adjunction must be prevented, lest V be allowed to move to
C without passing through INFL.

Such an adjunction could

result in structures like (28) below, which, though licit


according to the ECP and subjacency, must be ruled out as
there are no
(28)
(29)

sentences of the type in (29).

[
[ V [NP [ INFL [
t
CP C ? i IP
I
VP' i

[ t ...]]]]]]
VP i

*what write Gary will?

Sproat's reliance upon INFL-adjunction must be replaced.


I

The desired results are achieved quite straightfor-

f wardly.if the subject NP in VSO languages is generated as


t
| a complement to INFL, however.
1

i
i

383

INFL

When the subject is so generated, the fronting of V to


I INFL gives the surface VSO order directly.
The third piece of evidence in favor of the IP com
plement subject position comes from subject inversion
| sentences.

If it is assumed that the subject is generated

| as a specifier of IP, then movement to the postverbal


j

position (adjunction to VP) creates a situation in which a


trace is not strictly c-commanded by its antecedent.

This

fact has moved many analysts to assume that the inverted


subject is instead generated directly in the postverbal
position.

Whether that inverted subject is base-generated

in that post-VP position or it is base-generated in a


position posited in (23b) from which it may licitly move
is a moot point; in either case, it must be claimed that a
subject can be generated in the IP complement position.
I therefore conclude that subjects may occur in
either the specifier of IP or the complement of IP posi
tion; the choice is presumably another parameter of
grammar (cf. section 5.2.2.2 for expansion of this
suggestion).
I have previously discussed the basic facts of
Mandarin verb phrase order (cf. section 1.4).

To review,

it has been posited that the verb (like the noun) assigns
384

its theta roles to the left, but it assigns Case to the

right.

A direct object may receive Case in its d-

structure position if ba is inserted, or the object may


j
I
|
! move
tothepostverbalCase-marked position.
I now focus |
|
I
j upon
thatpostverbalposition.
|
J
The type of movement involved in the derivation of
I
i
. postverbal objects in Mandarin is limited to one of two
j

possibilities: adjunction and substitution.

The assump-

, tion that accusative Case is assigned by V to some NP

! which it governs rules out the possibility of adjunction

! to VP because the VP-adjoined position is excluded from

I
the government domain of V according to the definition of 1
government argued for in Chomsky (1986) and adopted in thej
current work (cf. section 1.2).

The only other adjunction!


i
possibility is that the object has adjoined directly to V , ;
I
since categories of X' are invisible to rules of movement.
This possibility also has its difficulties.

I noted ;

above the argument from Chomsky (1986) that a head cannot ,


be allowed to adjoin to a maximal projection.

In general,

this follows from the adoption of the Structure Preserving


Constraint (Emonds 1976) as a constraint on movement, such
that movement may not create structures not available via
base-generation.

This also makes the inverse prediction

that head-adjoined-to-XP structures should be

j
!
I

ungrammatical.

The final alternative is therefore to invoke substi- iI

tution to explain the behavior of direct objects in


385

Mandarin.

It is not unreasonable to suggest that this

postverbal site is the specifier of VP, since the speci


fier of CP is to the right in Mandarin (hence the lack of
overt WH-movement).

Still, this solution also looms prob

lematic because the specifier of lexical categories is not

! obviously an A-position, i.e., it is never assigned a


I
theta role. But it has been argued in section 4.4.2 that

i
j
j
|

objects of derived nominals may move to the specifier of


NP, e.g., in (31), and there is no indication that this is
other than NP-movement.
(31)

Romes destruction

Thus, I suggest that the definition of A-position be


expanded, as in (32), such that the movement of Mandarin
objects for Case and the movement of the object in (31)
may be considered NP-movement.
(32)

X is an A-position if and only if:


1) X is not a head; and
2) either
i) it may be assigned a theta-role, or
ii) it governs a position which may be
assigned a theta-role

The effect of (32) is that if the complement of XP is an


A-position, so is the specifier of XP.
To summarize the claims of section 5.1: first, it is |
argued that Case-assignment is obligatory; then, that Casej
I
is responsible for the lexicalization of arguments; final-|
I
I ly, that there are two possible A-positions within XP, the|
i
I
! complement and the specifier of XP.
|

5.2

Subject pronouns

I have now motivated the three hypotheses which


underlie my analysis of the licensing principles for null
pronouns: the Case-as-lexicalization hypothesis, the obli
gatory Case hypothesis, and the hypothesis that subjects
may occur in the complement of IP and objects in the
specifier of VP, which I henceforth call the generalized

i
i
j

A-position hypothesis.

In this and the next section, I

1 demonstrate how these hypotheses and the directionality of I


1
'
i
| Case parameter generate the combinations of lexical and
!
i
i
i
null pronouns found in the major types of languages.
This section begins with the task of classifying
languages according to whether or not pronominal subjects
can be null.

Five types are isolated, which indicates

that there are more parameters involved than simply the


directionality of Case parameter.

Parameters concerning

nonthematic elements and thematic subjects are then


introduced and motivated.

Finally, the interaction of

!
I
these parameters with the directionality of Case parameter:
i
;
is shown to predict those types. The section concludes
with a summary of subject licensing.
I
5.2.1

The cross-linguistically defined types


In pursuing this subsection's goal of classifying

languages according to whether they have lexical or null


subjects, I have restricted my survey to languages from
charts 7 and 8 of chapter 3 in which there is definite

data (i.e., not a ND entry) for both nonthematic and


thematic subjects.

This forty-eight language sample,


i

chart 9 on the next page, serves as the source for all

!
i
,

subsequent observations concerning language types.


J

Since the surveys from which this data was culled


were collected for a restricted number of construction

itypes,

j
j

the discussion of this section concerns mainly main I

clauses and tensed complements to verbs.

Where appro-

| priate, alternative subjects sites are discussed on a


| single language level as well.
i
According to chart 9, languages come in three types

with respect to nonthematic subjects, all of which should J


I
be familiar from the discussion in chapter 3. From the
|
first discussions of null argument phenomena, it has been
recognized that one type of language has invariably null
nonthematic pronouns and another type has invariably lexi
cal ones.

These two types are the poles of null argument

study, NSLs (the thirty-seven 0+A and 0-A cells without

i
diacritics under EXE in chart 9) and nonNSLs (the four *0A and *0+A cells under EXE in chart 9), respectively.
In nonNSLs, of which there are only four--Dutch A,
English, French and Swedish--in the survey, nonthematic

i
|

pronouns are obligatorily lexical in both main and

subordinate clauses.

!
I
|

(33) a.
b.

there is a man in the garden


I said that there was a man in the garden

388

EXE
Sthem
0(A)
0-A
American Sign Language
0+A(1)
0+A(1)
Arabic, Classical
0+A
0+A
Arabic, Bani-Hassan
*0-A
0-A
Babungo
0+A
0+A
Blackfoot
Bobangi
0+A
0+A
*0-A
0-A
Cape York Creole
0-A
0-A
Caviteno
0(A)
0+A
Chamorro
0+A
0-A
Chorote
*0-A
0-A
Duka
Dutch A
*0+A
*0-A
0-A(2)
Dutch B
*0+A
0+A
0+A
Egyptian, middle
English
*0( A )
*0+A
Finnish
0+A
0+A
0+A(2)
Flemish, west
0+A(2)
French, modern
*0+A
*0-A
French, Old
0+A(2)
0+A(2)
0+A
0-A
Fula
0-A
0-A
Garo
Georgian
0+A
0+A
German, Bavarian
0+A(2)
0-A(2)
German, standard
*0+A
0-A(2)
Guaymi
*0-A
0-A
Hausa
0+A
0+A
0+A
0+A
Hebrew
0+A
0+A
Hua
*0+A
0+A(2)
Icelandic
Indonesian, Betawi
0-A
0-A
Lenakel
0+A
0+A
Italian
0+A
0-A
Luganda
0+A
0-A
Mandarin
0-A
0-A
Mundari
0+A
0-A
0-A
0-A
Murut
0-A
Papiamentu
*0-A
0+A
0+A
Portuguese, Brazilian
0+A
0+A
Portuguese, European
0+A
Siroi
0+A
Spanish
0+A
0+A
Swahili
0+A
0-A
*0-A
Swedish
*0-A
*0-A
0-A
Tagalog
Tamazight
0+A
0+A
0-A
0-A
Thai
0-A
Turkish
0+A
0-A
0-A
Vietnamese
I (1):
main clauses only; lexical in subordinate clauses
I (2):
null in various sites; always
lexical when initialin
|
main clauses only
|
Chart 9: thematic and nonthematic subjects

In the core NSL, e.g., Spanish, nonthematic pronouns are


always null in both of these positions.
(34) a.
^

0 hay un hombre en el jardn

b.(yo) dije que 0 hay un hombre en el jardin

|
I
I

iThe third type is represented by the seven

0+A and

, 0-A cells with diacritics under EXE in chart 9.

In these

i languages, nonthematic subjects are obligatorily lexical


in some contexts and obligatorily null in others.

This

group of languages comes in two subtypes, Classical Arabic


and six verb-second languages.

In Classical Arabic, to

review briefly, impersonal constructions lack lexical


nonthematic subjects in main clauses, but an overt clitic
appears when such sentences are embedded under the

complementizer ?anna,

(35) a.

b.

yabduu ?anna ?al?awlaada saafaruu


seem
that the boys
travel
'it seems that the boys traveled'

I
I

qaala ?aHmadun ?anna-hu yabduu ?anna...


say
Ahmed
that it seem
that...
'Ahmed said that it seems that...'

The six verb-second languages in many ways present

the opposite situation from Classical Arabic.

In

Icelandic, for example, nonthematic subjects are lexical


only in main clauses and never in subordinate ones.

(36) a. *(Aa*$) var dansa^ a^ skipinu


it
was danced on ship
'it was danced on the ship'
b.

f>u
heldur (a'fc) (*^a%) var dansa^ a*S skipinu
you
believe that
it was danced on ship
'you believe that [it] was danced on the ship'

390

However, not all matrix nonthematic subjects in Icelandic

are lexical: when the sentence-initial position is filled

by some other element, e.g., if some XP is topicalized, or |


; in questions, the nonthematic subject does not appear.
(37) a.
Ui 1

>i 1-L]J

Wdt>

-L U

'[it] was danced

U a i l U B U

on the ship'

b.

hvar var (*^a^) dansa^


where was
it
danced
'where was [it] danced?'

c.

var
dansa$
a skipinu
was
it danced on
ship
'was [it] danced on the ship?'

This array of facts holds for all constructions in


Icelandic which make use of a nonthematic subject.
the other five

Among

verb-second languages which are listed as

having null nonthematic subjects, however, there is significant variation.

I am unable to check the distribution

of lexical nonthematic subjects in Old French, Bavarian


German and West Flemish, though two other verb-second
languages not included in the survey, Gothic and Faroese
(cf. Haiman 1974), have distributions of lexical and null
nonthematic subjects similar to Icelandic.
The other two languages fall somewhere between the
Icelandic type and the core nonNSL type, where nonthematic
subjects are always lexical.

In German, nonthematic sub-

jects of existentials and impersonal passives,

(38) and

(39), are null when not sentence-initial, but the nonthet


matic subjects of impersonal transitives and adjectival

3911

extrapositions, (40) and (41), are optionally lexical in


these contexts (Haiman 1974:106-8).
(38)

a. es sind drei Kinder


gekommen
are three children come
'there are three children coming1
b.

(39) a.
b.

heute sind (*es) drei Kinder gekommen


today
'today there are three children coming'
es wird getanzt
heute wird (*es) getanzt

(40) a. es ekelt
mir
vor
dir
it disgust me/DAT before you
'you make me sick'
b.

mir ekelt ('s) vor dir

(41) a. es w&re am besten, heimzugehen


it would be best
to go home
'it would be best to go home'
b.

jetzt w&re (es) am besten, heimzugehen


now
would it be best
to go home
'now it would be best to go home'

Safir (1985:249) also notes this latter type of apparently


lexical nonthematic subject, citing examples such as (42).
(42) a.

b.

es ist klar, dass Hans den Hund getfitet hat


is clear that Hans the dog killed has
'it is clear that Hans killed the dog'
er sagte, dass *?(es) klar ist, dass...
he say
that
clear is
that
'he said that it is clear that...'

The behavior of the subject in (42), Safir argues,


can be explained if it is assumed that the theta role
I
l

assigned by the predicate ist klar is an external one.

Thus, the fact that this subject must be lexical follows

I
|

from the same principles which make thematic subjects

obligatorily lexical in German.

The es subject associated


392

jwith passives never occurs, on the other hand, because


there is no external theta-role in these constructions.
The es subject of (40) may also be analyzed as a
thematic argument, parallel to the few apparent examples
of lexical nonthematic subjects in Hebrew, which, along
Iwith the German data, were discussed in section 2.2.2.2.
i
Borer (1984:216) reports that Hebrew nonthematic subjects
are obligatorily lexical in the following construction.
(43)

ze margiz 'oti se-Itamar


tamid
me'axer
annoy me
that-Itamar always late
'it annoys me that Itamar is always late'

Similar sentences supplied by Berman (1980:767,fn.10) make


it clear that ze is not a dummy place-marker, however.
(44)

ze se
hu kolkax satum margiz oti
that he so
dumb annoy me
'it annoys me that he is so dumb'

Rather, ze is part of a thematic argument, much like the


object it found in factive complements in English.
(45)

I regret it that she is so late

This proposal is further motivated by the fact that only


these pronouns conflict with the classification of Hebrew
as a consistent NSL.

'
I

In Dutch B, a postposed nonthematic subject is

!
i

optionally lexical in existential and impersonal passive


constructions, though a postposed nonthematic subject is

obligatorily null in all other impersonal constructions


| (Maling & Zaenen 1978:481).

(46) a.

er werken vele mensen in deze fabriek


work
many people in this factory
'there work many people in this factory'
!

393

(46) b.

Jan vertelde me dat (er) werken vele mensen in


deze fabriek

(47) a.

er werd door het hele dorp


gedanst en
was by
the whole village dance
and
gezongen
sing
'there was danced and sung by the whole village'j
I
gisteren werd (er) door het hele dorp gedanst en
gezongen

i
|
I
1

b.

For the moment, I leave open the classification of Dutch,


though it seems clear that the lexicalization of nonthe
matic subjects in this language is much more like the core
]

nonNSLs (e.g., English) than like Icelandic.

Turning now to the types defined by the lexicaliza-

tion of thematic subjects of tensed sentences (which I


call thematic subjects in this chapter, as opposed to

j
I
j

thematic subjects of untensed clauses, which I call PRO

subjects), it appears there are again three types of


languages: NSLs, where a null pronoun is generally possii
ble; nonNSLs, where they are never possible, and an inter- ,
i
mediate type, where pronouns are obligatorily lexical in
j
some constructions and optionally null in others.

|
I

The NSL type (the thirty-one languages with either an


0+A or 0-A entry under the Sthem column in chart 9) is the
one recognized from earliest generative work: in Italian,
for instance, a thematic subject is generally optionally
null.

Likewise well-known is the nonNSL type (the thir

teen languages with entries of *0-A or *0+A in the Sthem


column of chart 9), in which thematic subjects are obliga
torily lexical in all (tensed) contexts.

;
I
394

Unnoticed until recently is a second type of NSL (the


four languages with diacritic-marked 0+A entries in the
Sthem column of chart 9), where null thematic subjects
occur in a subset of the constructions in which they are
identified.

Classical Arabic falls into this class, as

the discussion in section 5.1.4 clearly indicates.

This

type is also exemplified in the survey by three verbsecond languages: Old French, Bavarian German and West
] Flemish (as well as Gothic (Wright 1899:134), Old Frisian
! (Markey 1981:170), and modern Frisian (Reuland 1983:32)
I
from outside the survey).
In these verb-second languages,
subjects are optionally null in inversion structures but
invariably lexical in sentence-initial position.

(These

examples of Bavarian are from Bayer 1983:249 and p.c.)


(48)

a.

kumm-st (du)?
come-2s you
are you coming?'
i

b.

dem Franz hab-ts (es,ihr) des Buach ned


to F.
have-2p you/pl the book not
'you have not given the book to Franz'

g gem
given

(49) a. *(du) kumm-st


you come-2s
'you are coming1
b.

!
]

*(es,ihr) habts des Buach dem Franz ned g gem


I

Essentially, the distribution of null thematic subjects


mirrors that of null nonthematic subjects in these

lan-

guages, for all three, like Icelandic, have lexical non


thematic subjects only when sentence-initial.

The distributions of subordinate subjects in these


' three languages vary somewhat: in West Flemish and
!

395

Bavarian (the example below is Lower Bavarian, from Bayer


1983:251), these subjects are optionally null; in Old
French (Adams 1987:2) they are obligatorily lexical.
(50) a.
I
i

b.

...dass-ma (mir) noch Minga fahr-n


that-lp we
to
Munich drive-lp
...that we drove to Munich
einsi corur-ent 0 par mer tant que il
thus ran-3p
by sea until
they
vindr-ent a Cademelee
come-3p
to Cadmee
thus they ran by the sea until they came to
Cadmee

i
;
|
i
!
j
I

j Though it is conceivable that this difference is signifi*

I cant enough to warrant an additional type, I suggest that


it can be reduced to other differences between these
languages, e.g., the fact that only Old French is an SVO
language.

(Cf. the analysis in section 5.3.2 for more

discussion of this difference).

I therefore conclude that

there are but three types defined by the lexicalization of


thematic subjects.
Were the goal of this investigation an analysis of

either nonthematic or thematic subjects only, the types


isolated in the previous paragraphs would suffice for that
particular task.

My goal being somewhat more grandiose,

i.e., to account for the types defined by the lexicaliza


tion of both nonthematic and thematic subjects, I must
further determine the types.
Though there is extensive overlap between the three
types defined by thematic subjects and the three defined
i
| by nonthematic subjects, the match is hardly absolute,

l
I
I

e.g., only thirty-one of the thirty-seven languages with


invariably null nonthematic pronouns have optionally null
thematic subjects, and only four of the thirteen languages
with obligatorily lexical thematic subjects also have
| obligatorily lexical nonthematic subjects.

The result is

! that four types must be recognized.


In addition to the two poles of null pronoun study,
there are two other types.

Among the seven languages in

which nonthematic subjects are only occasionally lexical,


three verb-second languages, (Dutch B, standard German and |
I
Icelandic), two creole languages (Cape York Creole and
j
Papiamentu) and four others (Babungo, Duka, Guaymi, and

Tagalog) lack null thematic subjects.

Since the six lat-

ter languages lack agreement morphology, it is quite likely that they lack null thematic subjects because of the
failure of identification.

As such, they have no bearing

I
i
j
t

on the issue of licensing, and are henceforth ignored.


Dutch B, standard German and Icelandic, on the other hand,
lack null thematic subjects despite an agreement paradigm
which identifies at least some subjects, and these are the
focus of this investigation.
The final type is composed of the four languages
which have optionally null thematic subjects in restricted
environments and some null nonthematic pronouns.
The distribution and correspondences of the types a r e '
+

given in (51) below, with the names with which I refer to

i
397

them henceforth.

Listings of the languages for each type

follow in (52).
(51)
core NSL (31)
restricted NSL (4)
EXE-NSL (9)
core nonNSL (4)
(52) a.

b.
c.

d.

EXE
null
null/lexical
null/lexical
lexical

pro
opt. null
opt. null
lexical
lexical

core NSL:

ASL, Bani-Hassan Arabic, Black- :


foot, Bobangi, Caviteno,
Chamorro, Chorote, Middle Egyp
tian, Finnish, Fula, Garo,
Georgian, Hausa, Hebrew, Hua,
Betawi Indonesian, Italian,
!
Lehakel, Luganda, Mandarin,
!
Mundari, Murut, Brazilian Por- ;
tuguese, European Portuguese,
Siroi, Spanish, Swahili, Tama- j
zight, Thai, Turkish, Vietnamese
I
restricted NSL: Classical Arabic, West Flemish, i
Old Fre Bavarian German
I
EXE-NSL:
Dutch B, standard German, Ice- j
landic; also Babungo, Cape York
Creole, Duka, Guaymf, Papiamentu, Tagalog

core nonNSL:

Dutch A, English, modern


French, Swedish

The significance of this typology should be clear.

proper analysis of null subjects must generate these four


types and only these.
5.2.2

Subject parameters and the analysis of the types


I begin with an analysis of the core NSL type, an

analysis which requires little more than the mechanisms


which have been discussed thus far.

The second type

analyzed is the core nonNSL type, after which the more


convoluted third and fourth types are explained.

A fifth

type is then introduced and analyzed.


398

5.2.2.1

Core NSLs

These are the properties of core NSLs which must be


explained: nonthematic subjects are always null and thematic subjects always have the option of being null.

These

facts can be explained quite easily within the present

i
|
!
j
I
i

assumptions.
First of all, since nonthematic subjects in core NSLs

are never lexical, according to the Case-as-lexicalization |


hypothesis they must be generated in a position to which

Case is never assigned.

By the multipositional argument

'

hypothesis, this position is either the specifier or the

i
i

complement of IP.

I
!

The cross-linguistic evidence seems to favor the


conclusion that this position is the specifier of IP.

The >
I
discussion of Dutch double-subject constructions in sec\
tion 5.1.4 made it clear that the nonthematic subject
precedes the thematic subject.

There, it was concluded

that the thematic subject occurred in the complement of IP


and the nonthematic subject in the specifier of IP.

Note

also the evidence provided by impersonal clauses embedded


under the complementizer ?anna in Classical Arabic: the
subjects of these clauses, though otherwise null, become
lexical in the sentence-initial position.

Let us there

fore assume that nonthematic subjects are universally

specifiers of IP.
!

i
]

Assuming that nonthematic subjects occur in the

;specifier of IP position in NSLs, it must therefore be the


i
i

399

case that nominative Case is assigned to the complement of


IP position in NSLs, because the nonthematic subjects are
not lexical in these languages unless Case is assigned to
the specifier from outside the clause, as in the Arabic
case just described (cf. section 5.1.2 for examples and
discussion).
The place of thematic subjects in NSLs can easily be
determined in a parallel manner.

Again, the logical

choice is between the complement of IP and the specifier


of IP positions, but only one of these is compatible with
the assumptions of this analysis, i.e., that Case is
assigned to the complement position.

j
j
I
j

If the thematic

i
i
subject were generated in the specifier position, it would I
lack Case, and because movement to the complement position

creates a trace which is not strictly c-commanded by its

antecedent, there could be no lexical subjects in this

language.

Therefore, I assume that thematic subjects are

generated as complements of IP in the core NSLs.

When a

|
i
thematic subject remains in situ, it is Case-marked and
!
i
lexical; a null subject escapes Case and lexicalization byj

moving to the specifier of IP.


The movement analysis for null subjects is obviously
without direct surface justification, but it can be motivated by general mechanisms.

Recall the statement of the ,

, previous chapter to the effect that nonarbitrary thematic


j

i
j

null pronouns in NSLs receive their indices via the SPEC-

I HEAD agreement convention.

Since a null pronoun requires

identification, it must therefore move to the specifier

position.

i
j

The trace left behind by this movement is somewhat


problematic, given that it is a Case-marked trace of NP-

j movement.

It is not lexical,

of course, because lexicali- |

j zation requires both Case and pronominal features, the


]

; latter of which is associated only with the null pronoun


in the specifier position.

Still, the prediction is that

i
|
t

! this trace should have a phonetic reflex, much like WHi


;
traces.
I am unaware of any data which supports or deniesi
i

this assertion.

The analysis presented above is most clearly adequate


i
for VSO word orders, since in these cases the lexical
I
subject overtly remains in its complement position at s-

i
structure.

There are many NSLs with SVO word order,

however, which would make it appear as if Case is assigned |


to the preverbal position in some NSLs.

For these SVO

NSLs, I assume that the V-INFL link (cf. the discussion in


chapter one) is not manifested through movement.

In this

manner it can be maintained that thematic subjects in NSLs


are uniformly generated and receive Case in the complement \
i

position of IP.

j
!

5.2.2.2

Core nonNSLs and the parameterization of the


thematic subject position

Given the analysis of core NSLs, the core nonNSL have j


I

a clear derivation: a nonthematic subject is again a

specifier of IP, but because these are always lexical in


(

I_ _ _

I
401

nonNSLs, Case must be assigned to this position.

That is,

the only difference between NSLs and nonNSLs with respect


to nonthematic subjects is a matter of the parameter
setting for INFL-assigned Case.

Regardless of the placement of the thematic subject,


any language which assigns Case directly to a nonthematic

subject will also have obligatorily lexical thematic sub


jects.

If the thematic subject position is the specifier

of IP, movement to the Caseless complement position is not


allowed because the trace is not c-commanded by its ante
cedent, as noted above.

The result is that all thematic

subjects appear in situ, where they are Case-marked, hence


lexical.

Note, however, that this possible analysis

involves the parameterization of the thematic subject


position, a point I return to below.
Alternatively, if the thematic subject position is

I
<

the complement of IP and Case is assigned to the speci


fier, the thematic subject might move to the specifier
position, where it would be Case-marked.

If it remains in

situ, Case is directly assigned to the nonthematic element 1


in the specifier position, and the chain which is formed

I
between the thematic and nonthematic subjects, ostensibly |
to transfer the features which would identify the null

thematic subject, also transfers Case, thus making the

j
i
I
1
'

thematic subject lexical.


Both of these possible scenarios exist, as I demonstrate below.

I
402

5.2.2.3

An introduction to restricted NSLs and EXE-NSLs

In some sense these types form a class, for languages


of both types have lexical nonthematic pronouns in some
environments and null ones in other contexts.

I
1
i

The chal-

lenge is to supply a solution which accounts for the


1 distribution

of lexical and null nonthematic subjects in

I
1
j

j these

two types without losing sight of the fact that

languages of one of these types allow null thematic sub-

I
i
I jects whereas languages of the other type do not.
i
i
!
Nothing in what I have thus far introduced allows the |
i
generation of this kind of variation.
If the directional- [
!

ity of Case parameter is the only relevant parameter and

only be the two types discussed in the previous two sub-

j
i
|
i
j

sections.

all nonthematic subjects are IP specifiers, there should

There must therefore be some other parametric

difference between these languages and the others.

In an analysis which has been referred to numerous


times, Platzack (1983,1987) argues that that parametric
difference is a matter of where the nonthematic pronoun is
generated.

In the core nonNSLs, e.g., English and Swe-

i
i
!

dish, he proposes, as I have above, that the nonthematic

'

element is a subject; in German and Icelandic, on the

'

other hand, he proposes that it is a topic.

This captures the obvious similarity between core

nonNSLs and these (restricted NSLs and EXE-NSLs) lan-

j
I

guages, all of which have lexical nonthematic elements in

sentence-initial position (Platzack 1983:80), because


!

403

subjects are sentence-initial in English and subjects (in


the event of no topic) and topics begin sentences in the
others.
(53) a. there is a man in the drainpipe

English

b.

det sitter en fagel pa taket


sit
a bird on roof
'there is sitting a bird on the roof'

Swedish

c.

es sind in diesem Zimmer zwei Sttihle


are in this
room
two chairs
'there are in this room two chairs'

German

d.

eru mys ba*&cerinu


are mice in bathtube
'there are mice in the bathtube'

Icelandic

Furthermore, it captures four significant differences, all


of which clearly demonstrate the subject-like behavior of
the nonthematic pronouns in English and Swedish, on the
one hand, and its unsubject-like behavior in the other
two.

First, subjects are inverted in questions in all

four languages, but the postposed nonthematic element is


lexical only in English and Swedish (p.84-85).
(54) a.

was there a man in the drainpipe?

b.

satt det en fagel pa taket?

c.

sind (*es) in diesem Zimmer zwei Sttihle?

d.

eru (*^a%) mys i ba^kerinu?

Second, although subjects may be exceptionally Case-marked

in all four languages, e.g., in subject-to-object raising

i
|

constructions, this occurs only with the nonthematic ele-

ments of English and Swedish (p.87).

404

(55) a.

he believed there to be a man in the drainpipe

b. hon iat det


rinna ut vatten pa golvet
she let
pour out water on floor
she let there pour out water on the floor'
c.

*er h&rte es viele Leute kommen


he heard
many people come
'he heard there many people come'

d. *Jon telur
y6a^ hafn einhvern eti^ hakarlinn
John believe
have somebody eat shark
'John believes there to have somebody eaten the
shark'
Third, subjects control agreement to some degree in all
four languages, but only the nonthematic elements in (col
loquial) English and Swedish do so (p.87-88).
(56) a.

there's two patients in the waiting room

b.

det blev uppr&tta-t tva avtal


mellas
was drawn up-s two contracts between
parterna
parties
'there was drawn up two contracts between the
parties'

c.

es kamen
viele Leute
came/3p many people
'there came many people'

d.

f>a^ eru mys i ba&kerinu


be/3p mice in bathtube
'there are mice in the bathtube'

Fourth, subjects occur in subordinate clauses in all four


languages but only the nonthematic elements in English and
Swedish occur in these contexts (p.88).
(57)

a.
b.

...if there was a man in

the drainpipe

...om det satt en fagel pa taket


if
sti a bird on roof
'...if there was sitting a bird on the roof'

c.*...wenn es ein Vogel auf dem Baum sitzt


if
a
bird in
the tree sit
'...if there is sitting a bird in the tree'

j
I

405

I
|

(57) d. *...ef Aa% vaeri ms 1 ba^kerinu


if
were mice in bathtube
...if there were mice in the bathtube1

j Indeed, the topic-subject parameter for nonthematic sub-

1jects appears to capture the differences neatly: since a

topic only occurs sentence-initially in matrix sentences,


I it is not to be expected elsewhere.

i
i
I

However, this parameter does not answer as many ques


tions as one would like.

As pointed out to me by Osvaldo

Jaeglli, it does not address the specifier of IP position

in any way whatsoever.

It appears that Platzack is claim

ing that the structure of (53c), repeated below, is that


given in (58).
(53) c.

(58)

;
i

es sind in diesem Zimmer zwei Sttihle


are in this
room
two chairs
'there are in this room two chairs'
[

es [ sind
CP
C'

[
[ PP NP t ] t ]]]
i IP VP
i
i

And the structure of a German sentence without a thematic

i
I
I
i
I

subject, e.g., (59a), would be that given in (59b).


(59) a.

b.

...dass (*es) wird getanzt


that
were danced
'...that there was dancing'
...[

[ dass [ [
CP C'
IP VP

wird getanzt]]]]

That is, it seems that Platzack claims that the subject

position in the specifier of IP can be unexpanded.

This analysis not only forces a parameterization of

the EPP, but it also parameterizes the rule of predica-

tion, for neither the structure in (58) nor that in (59b)

i
i

1 has a subject of its VP predicate.

However, both German


406

and Icelandic have PRO subjects, which, according to the


analysis of section 4.3, means that the rule of predica
tion does operate in these languages.

The structures in

(58) and (59b) therefore cannot be correct.


Let us assume, instead, that both the EPP and the
rule of predication are universal, such that the correct
structures of the examples in (53c) and (59a) are those in
(60).
(60) a.
b.

[ es
CP
...[
CP

[ sind [0 [ P P N P t
]t
C'
i IP
VP
i
[ dass [ 0 [ ...]]]]
C'
IP
VP

]]]
i

These structures contain empty subjects which Platzack's


I

analysis says nothing about.

5.2.2.4

I
I
!

Parameters of nominative Case assignment

The problem remains, then,

as to how restrictedNSLs

and EXE-NSLs are differentiated from core nonNSLs and core j


NSLs.

In this subsection, I propose an entirely different

sort of explanation, which relies not upon a parameter,

but upon different means of assigning nominative Case.


In section 1.2, I provided the following statement of |
t

nominative Case assignment.


(61)

an NP is nominative if governed by INFL [+AGR]

But there are actually two problems with this statement


which were ignored at the time.

First, it is not clear

that [+AGR] is the feature which enables INFL to assign


i

nominative Case.

In English, it has been argued, nomina-

(
i

tive Case is assigned despite the lack of agreement

;
!
407

morphology.

So it has been suggested that perhaps

[+tense] is a more relevant feature, since it is only in


j
finite clauses that English INFLs assign nominative Case.
i

Both of these features are challenged in Rizzi

(1982,ch.3), where he discusses a range of environments in


I
which agreementless infinitives and gerunds assign nomina- ,
tive Case to their subjects in Italian.

The subject of a

root declarative in Italian can never be positioned


l between an aspectual auxiliary and the past participle

!(Rizzi

!
j
!

1982:83).

(62) a.

Mario ha accettato di aiutarci


Mario be accept
to help us
Mario has accepted to help us'

b. *ha Mario accettato di aiutarci


However, in gerundive adverbial clauses, the situation is

i
!
I
i

reversed: the AUX NP order is acceptable while the other


ordering is very marginal at best.

'

(63) a.*?Mario avendo accettato di aiutarci, potremo


|
Mario be/GER accept
to help us we be able
resolvere il problema
to solve the problem
'Mario having accepted to help us, we'll be able
to solve the problem'
b.

avendo Mario accettato di aiutarci, potremo


resolvere il problema

I Rizzi argues that the contexts in which nominative Case is i


assigned by a tenseless agreementless INFL in Italian all
show evidence of a movement of the auxiliary into COMP
(i.e., C, in terms of Chomsky 1986).

The result is that many analysts have dismissed (61), [


I
;

and the alternative to (61) which specifies INFL [+tense], j


*
408

and instead posited as the relevant property for nomina-

tive Case assignment an INFL or C to which V has moved.

;
ii

(64)

an INFL or C filled by V assigns nominative Case .


i

In the Italian example (63), Rizzi argues that V (i.e.,

| the auxiliary verb) has actually moved into C, such that


!the introduction of INFL into (64) might seem unmotivated, i
I
:
Still, I assume (64) in order to capture the generalizaj
j

tion that INFL is involved in nominative Case assignment.

|
Il
In the literature, the discussion concerning (61) andj

(64) has focused upon which of the two statements is the


more adequate.

It does not appear likely that (64), or

rather the data in (63), can be reduced to (61).

However,

one might argue that there is a universal rule of V-toINFL movement, such that INFL is always filled and (64)
alone suffices.

But this seems too strong a statement,

for there are many infinitives which do not assign nomina


tive Case and so must not move to INFL.
My ploy is to accept both formulations of Case, but
to differentiate them in important ways.

|
i
!

Case assigned

because of features in INFL, (61), I henceforth refer to


as F-Case.

Furthermore, because the features in INFL

(especially AGR) are relevant to the nominative-marked NP, ,


I assume that F-Case involves a coindexing of INFL and NP.
In fact, I assume that F-Case is assigned via this shared

j
i

|
!

index.

As the Case assigned by a filled INFL involves no


I transfer of features, I assume that it involves government
!
I

409
i

only.

For this reason, I henceforth refer to Case assign

ment by (64) as g-Case, as in government-Case.


The ramifications of this approach will shortly
, become clear.
i

' 5.2.2.5
i
i

j
j

Restricted NSLs and EXE-NSLs II

Let us now return to the two types of languages in


which expletives may sometimes be lexical and other times

| not, beginning first with the EXE-NSL type, e.g., Icelan-

die.

In section 5.2.2.3, I argued that nonthematic sub-

| jects in this type of language, as in all languages, occur


in the specifier of IP position.

By the Case-as-lexicali-

zation hypothesis, if these subjects are ever lexical,


I

I
they must be Case-marked.
But this must be g-Case, for two reasons.

First,

nonthematic subjects have no features, such that there is


no motivation for the F-Case index.

Second, all of the

relevant EXE-NSLs (Dutch B, standard German, and Icelan


dic) are verb-second languages, which means that V moves
through INFL to C in main clauses, INFL is filled, and the
environment for g-Case is met.

That is, I assume that

only a single type of Case-assignment is assigned to any


particular position, and that g-Case is assigned wherever
its conditions permit.

|
Therefore, it must be thatg-Case

intheEXE-NSLs

assigned to nonthematic subjects whenthey


initial.

!
i

is

are sentence-

This might be accomplished by assuming that a

410
____

i
1

filled INFL assigns Case to the specifier position, but


this predicts that a nonthematic subject should be lexical
whenever it appears in a main clause (i.e., where V-toINFL-to-C movement has applied).

However, Platzacks

evidence, repeated below, indicates that an inverted nonI thematic subject in German and Icelandic is not lexical.

(54) c.
d.

sind (*es) in diesem Zimmer zwei Sttihle?


eru (*^a^) mys i bankerinu?

Therefore, it seems necessary to stipulate that g-Case is


not so much assigned to a particular position, e.g., the
specifier of IP, as it is in a particular direction.
Given the statement of g-Case in (64), repeated below, a
solution is at hand.
(64)

an INFL or C filled by V assigns nominative

Case

In main clauses, where a nonthematic subject is sentence-

initial, it occurs to the left of the filled C; therefore,


i
;
i
i

it is lexical.
(65)

[EXE [ V+INFL
[
[ ...t
] t ]]]
CP
Cf
i IP VP
i
i

In the inversion contexts of (54), the nonthematic sub-

I
j

jects occur to the right of the filled C; therefore, they

are not marked by g-Case, and are thereby null.


(66)

[[ V+INFL [ EXE [
...t [t ]]]]]
CP C'
i IP
VP
i
i

'

This analysis has ramifications to which I return at the


close of this section.
The situation in subordinate clauses is much more
obvious.

Here, there is no V-movement and so F-Case is


411

operative.

But nonthematic subjects have no features, so

F-Case is irrelevant, and the nonthematic subjects remains


Caseless, hence null.
|

Given that the distribution of lexical nonthematic

j subjects in the restricted NSLs is the same, I presume


! that this analysis applies for that type as well.
i
Consider now thematic subjects in restricted NSLs and

j EXE-NSLs.

Since restricted NSLs allow null thematic sub-

! jects but the EXE-NSLs do not, there must be some atteni

I dant difference in Case-assignment.

This might be of two

different sorts: either the thematic subject positions


differ or some aspect of Case-assignment is set different
ly for the two types.
The first possibility is not borne out by the data,
however. Both Icelandic and German have constructions

in

which there is both a nonthematic and a thematic subject

(Platzack 1983:95).

I
j

(67) a.

b.
(68) a.

b.

einhver hefur eti^ hakarlinn


someone has
eat shark
1someone has eaten the shark 1

hefur einhver eti*& hakarlinn


jeder Mensch hat seine Schw&chen
every man
has his
weaknesses
every man has his weaknesses
es hat jeder Mensch seine Schw&chen]

j
!

Safir (1985:248) disputes the existence of this kind of


I
construction in German, though every native German speaker |
I have consulted claims that it is fine.

Cf. also the

examples, such as (69), in Perlmutter & Zaenen (1984).

!
!
412

(69) a.

b.

eine bfise
Hexe steuerte
die Frfische bei
a
wicked witch contribute the frogs
with
'a wicked witch contributed the frogs'
es steuerte eine bdse Hexe die FrOsche bei

Sentences of this structure are also licit in Bavarian


German (Bayer, p.c.).

And since these double-subject

constructions were used to argue for the second subject

position in section 5.1, it must be the case that both


EXE-NSLs and restricted NSLs also base-generate their
thematic subjects in the complement to IP position.
The other alternative is a Case difference.

I
But both !

types of languages assign g-Case to the left, according to


the preceding analysis of nonthematic subjects in these
languages.

The difference, therefore, must be in terms of

the direction F-Case is assigned.

In an EXE-NSL, let us assume that F-Case, like g-Case j


is assigned to the left.

This means that a thematic

|
t

subject in the IP complement is not assigned Case in situ,


as it is in the core NSLs (cf. section 5.2.2.1).

However,

it is not possible for a thematic subject to remain in the


complement position, for a null subject must be identified
and identification is provided via SPEC-HEAD agreement.
!

Thus, whether there is V-INFL movement or not, the speci-

j
i

fier position is Case-marked, and all thematic subjects in


these languages are lexical.
In a restricted NSL, F-Case is instead assigned to
the right, so that a thematic subject in situ is lexical.

G-Case is assigned to the left, such that it might appear


413

that no thematic subjects should be possible in this type


of language.

But there are conditions which allow a null

;subject nevertheless, e.g., when V moves to C and some XP


I
! other than the subject is topicalized.
Then, if the
i
j thematic subject moves to the specifier, it is Caseless.
j
i (70)
[ XP [ V+INFL [ NP [ t t [ t ...]]]]]
I
CP
C'
i IP j I i j VP i

Note also that the conditions for a null thematic subject


should also be met by the specifier position of subordi-

j
t

nate clauses (at


least those in which there is no V-INFL
v
movement).
5.2.2.6

i
i

I return to this point in section 5.3.2.

Dutch: a fifth type

!
i
|

At this point I have satisfied the original goals of


this section, though a careful consideration of the data

i
makes it clear that one more distinction needs to be made. ,
i
To this point, I have posited four types: core NSL,
'
restricted NSL, EXE-NSL, and core nonNSL.

In this last

group are Dutch A, English, French, and Swedish, yet only


the first of these languages displays double-subject constructions.

(The Dutch example is from Perlmutter &

Zaenen 1984, the Swedish from Platzack 1983:94)

!
'
I
1
I
1
i
I
i

(71) a.

b.

twee kinderen spelen in de tuin


two children play
in the garden
'two children are playing in the garden1

er spelen twee kinderen in de tuin

j
i

(72) a.

many people read a newspaper every morning

b. *there read many people a newspaper every


morning

(73) a.

manga personer arbetar ganska motvilligt h&r


many people
work
rather reluctantly here
'many people work rather reluctantly here'

b. *det arbetar manga personar ganska motvilligt h&r


i
In this respect, Dutch A is more like Icelandic
j
(Platzack 1983:95) and German.

But Dutch and the Icelan-

die type cannot be collapsed because nonthematic elements

j
i
j

are always lexical in Dutch, but only lexical in sentenceinitial contexts in Icelandic.

Considering that the rele

vant specifications are the same for both EXE-NSLs and


Dutch A, i.e., both g-Case and F-Case are assigned to the
left, this difference would appear to be a mystery.
Indeed, I stipulate the difference, such that g-Case in

Dutch A (and not in EXE-NSLs) is assigned in both direc-

tions.

I return to the predictions this stipulation makesj

in section 5.3.1.

The difference between Dutch and the other core

I
i
I
i

nonNSLs therefore appears to be a matter of the thematic


subject position.

The double subject constructions indi

cate that these are complements of IP in Dutch.

Still,

Dutch thematic subjects are obligatorily lexical just as


they are in the core NSLs, the difference being that the
Dutch derivation follows the manner described above for
EXE-NSLs.

That is, it is impossible for a null thematic

I
j

subject to remain in the complement position because iden- !


tification is provided via SPEC-HEAD agreement and the
specifier position is always Case-marked.

|
+
j
I

415

In the other core nonNSLs, however, there is never


i any evidence (e.g., double subject constructions) to indi
cate that the thematic subject position and nonthematic
i
1subject position are distinct. Therefore, I propose that
these other core nonNSLs take up the second option men
tioned in 5.2.2.2, i.e., to generate their thematic sub
jects in the specifier of IP position.
I

It is undeniable that English and Swedish lack the

i
kinds of double-subject constructions found in Dutch, as
(71) through (73) indicate.

However, it is true that all

three languages have a construction which appears similar, !


i.e., existential sentences.
(74) a.

theres two patients in the waiting room

b.

det blev uppr&tta-t tva avtal


mellas
was
drawn up-s two contracts between
parterna
parties
1there was drawn up two contracts between the
parties

c.

erzit een muis in de hoek


be a
mouse in the corner
'there is a mouse in the corner'

|
j
;
'
|
I
I
|
j

The difference between what I have been calling double! subject constructions and these existentials is signifij cant: only in the former is there both a nonthematic

!subject

and an NP which is clearly the external argument

of the predicate.

That is, I claim that there in (74a) is

! the nonthematic subject of thepredicate twopatients

, the waiting room, just as John

in (75) is the

in

subject of

the predicate aman in a hurry.


I
i

416

i
!

;
!
!
I
'
i

(75)

John is a man in a hurry

In this way, existentials do not constitute counter


evidence to my claim that thematic subjects in English are
generated in the specifier of IP position.
5.2.3

Summary of the theory of subject licensing


The basic data this analysis has covered is summar

ized in tabular form in (76).

The five types are classi

fied according to the lexicalization of thematic and non


thematic subjects and the possibility of double subject
i

sentences.

null
thematic
subjects

null
nonthem
subjects

lexical
nonthem
subjects

yes
yes
yes
no
no

no
yes
yes
yes
yes

double
subject
sentences
7
yes
yes
yes
no

!
j
1

The way in which these types have been analyzed is also

core NSL
restr NSL
EXE-NSL
Dutch A
core nonNSL

yes
yes
no
no
no

captured in tabular form in (77).

Here the interaction of!

the three major parameters which I have used in my analy


sis of subject licensing is summarized.

a.
b.
c.
d.
e.
f.
gh.

direction
of
G-Case

direction
of
F-Case

thematic
subject
position

right
right
right
right
left
left
left
left

right
left
left
left
right
right
left
left

CPLT
SPEC
CPLT
SPEC
CPLT
SPEC
CPLT
SPEC

I
1
1
1
core NSL
*

!
1

*
restricted NSL
*
I
EXE-NSL; Dutch A
nonNSL

Note that the interaction of three parameters pre


dicts that eight types are possible, yet only four of
these describe the types put forth in (76).
Dutch and the EXE-NSLs are

Recall that

,
j

differentiated on the basis of

yet another parameter, that g-Case is assigned without


regard for direction in Dutch, a parameter I have yet to
motivate in any general way.
Still, the fact that there are four types in (77) for
which I have supplied no examples is not evidence against
my analysis.

Rather, I suggest that three of the four are

disallowed by independent principles.

A (b)-type of lan

guage, for instance, is one in which a thematic pronoun is


always Caseless.

A language without lexical subjects,

though possible, is unlikely due to functional considerations.

i
j

j
from j
i

In terms of output, the (d)-type is not distinct

the (c)-type, nor is the (f)-type distinct from the (h)type.

But both the (d)- and (f)-types are unmotivated

because in each Case is assigned to a direction in which


there is no position.

That is, neither type generates a

complement subject position, yet Case is assigned there.


The (c) type, on the other hand, may well represent a
type which has thus far been ignored in this analysis.
This is a type of language in which nonthematic subjects

I
|

are always null, and thematic subjects are always lexical. |


i
;
; This corresponds neatly to the ignored EXE-NSLs
i
ii

418

(cf. (52c)): Babungo, Cape York Creole, Duka, Guaymx,


Papiamentu, Tagalog.
In the first discussion of EXE-NSLs, it was supposed
ithat these languages were irrelevant to the study of
licensing.

Since they all lack subject-identification,

the reasoning went, it was likely that they had the same
i
jstructure as NSLs, the sole difference being in terms of
identification.

The typology which results from the three

parameters in (76), however, predicts that these languages


have a structure all their own.

5.3

Other constraints on the analysis


In the preceding two sections of this chapter, I have

developed a theory of licensing which covers the five


types of languages defined by the lexicalization of
thematic and nonthematic subjects.
This section examines
I
the adequacy of this theory in two additional venues:
nonsubject pronoun sites; and the history of French, a
present-day core nonNSL which was once a core NSL.
5.3.1

Other pronoun sites

According to the theory of licensing, a pronoun may


i
be null wherever that pronoun evades Case.
For thematic
subjects of tensed clauses, I have argued that this situa
tion arises only when the subject theta role is assigned
to the complement position and no Case is assigned to the
specifier position.
i
iI
i

419

Since lexical heads generally assign theta-roles and


Case to their complement positions, it stands to reason
that the arguments of these lexical heads should univer
sally be licensedwhenever they are identified and
possible for

it is

them to move to a Caseless specifier. Alter-

j
i
'

natively, ifthe languageassigns Case to the specifier


i

| (as I argued in section 5.1.4 is the case with the MandaI


1rin VP), identified null pronouns might remain in situ and
1
be Caseless.
i
Note that the fact that lexical heads never assign
,

!
i
|
1

|
theta roles to the specifier position predicts that there

is no possibility that thematic nonsubjects can be accom


panied by agreement yet fail to be licensed.

And accor

ding to the results of the survey in chapter three, this


scenario is correct: where there is agreement with a
nonsubject argument, it is always grammatical, i.e.,
licensed, as well.

There are no surface counterexamples

to the agreement hypothesis for nonsubject arguments, no


exceptional languages with nonsubject agreement but
lacking null nonsubjects.
A major conclusion of chapter four is that agreement
is not the only form of identification, however.

I
i

Some

null nonsubjects are visible due to the index they share

with a predicate, for instance.

nonsubjects occurs in all cases of predicate-identified

!
i

nonsubjects, then they should be licit in all languages

with the relevant structures.

If licensing of null

Though true enough for

:
420

Italian (the examples below of which are from Rizzi


1986:503,542), this prediction fails with respect to
English, which lacks both arbitrary null arguments and
null nonthematic subjects of argument small clauses, even
though it obviously has the rule of predication which
identifies these null pronouns.
(78) a. questo conduce 0 a [PRO concludere quanto segue]
this
lead
conclude
what
follow
this leads ARB to conclude what follows
b. ritengo [0 probabile che 0 sia simpatico]
believe
probable that
be nice
I believe [it] likely that he is nice
(79) a.
b.

this leads *(one) to conclude what follows


I believe *(it) likely that he is nice

The above array of data makes it appear that the lexicalization of argument small clause subjects follows the line
established by thematic and nonthematic subjects of tensed
clauses.

Examination of these constructions in other

languages yields a different picture, however.


French is a core nonNSL, like English, in terms of
subjects but it has null objects identified by agreement
as well as the null arbitrary variety (the (c) sentence is
from Authier 1987a).
(80) a. *(je) ne parle pas tres bien
I
NEG speak NEG very well
I do not speak very well
b . ne me
derangez pas 0
NEG lsDO.CL bother
NEG
dont bother m e !
c.

une bonnebiere reconcilie 0 avec


soi-meme
a good
beer reconcile
with oneself
'a good beer reconciles ARB with oneself

421
l
_

I But agreement-identified null direct objects are not re-

| quired for the arbitrary variety to be licit in a

Ii language.

Finnish has only null subjects and never

i
agreement-identified null direct objects; still, it has

!
arbitrary
i
(81) a.
i
b.

c.

null objects.
(minfi) kirjoiti-n kirja-n
I
write-Is
book-ACC
'I wrote the book'
Paul Newman voi vietellfi *(sinu-t)
Paul Newman can seduce
you-ACC
'Paul Newman can seduce you/*one'

j
'

>

krapula saa (sinu-t) sairaa-ksi


hangover make you-PART sick-TRNS
'hangovers makes you/ARB sick'

The prerequisite for null arbitrary objects seems to be

I
j

positive evidence that some pronominal argument may be

null.

It is clear that these facts cannot be explained by

!
I

the theory of identification.

The challenge is instead to 1


i
show how the distribution of null nonsubjects in some ways
is related to the principles and parameters of licensing

which were developed in the preceding sections of this


chapter.
Consider first those null objects identified by
agreement in Swahili and French.
(82)

Ahmed a-li-m-piga
(mtoto)
Ahmed 3sS-PST-3sO-hit child
'Ahmed hit the child/him'

(83)

ne me
derangez pas 0
NEG lsDO.CL bother
NEG
'don't bother m e !'

I
j

j
I
I

I
;
!

i
422
I

In both of these languages, the verb assigns Case to a


lexical direct object in the complement position, yet the
object in (82) and (83) may be null anyway.

Following the

analysis of subject-licensing presented in section 5.2,


the assumption is that the null pronoun has moved to the
| specifier of VP.

correct one.

Let us assume that this sequence is the

This predicts that null arbitrary objects

j
j

should be licit in both of these languages, which is


I

apparently the case.


The problem is to explain why null arbitrary objects
are not licit in every language, in particular English.

:
i

By way of explanation, consider the distribution of lexi


cal nonthematic subjects inside VP in English.
(84) a.
b.

I consider it a pleasure to be here tonight


God made there be a man in the garden

Both consider and make obligatorily assign theta-roles to

their complement, as shown by other sentences in which


there is no lexical nonthematic subject.
(85) a.
b.

I considered the opportunities carefully


God made little green apples, too

The problem is how a nonthematic subject can be generated


in a thematic position.

One answer is the clausal analysis of small clauses,

! which posits a single clausal complement, such that the

I structure of (84) is something like that given in (86).


i
i

i
i

;
;
\
423

(86) a.

b.

I consider [ it [ a pleasure to be here


NP
NP
tonight]]
God made [ there [ be a man in the garden]]
VP
VP

As noted in chapter four, however, it cannot be the case


that these small clauses have sentential structure, for

|
1
\
i

there is no INFL internal to the small clause, as shown by


I

the fact that null thematic subjects must be arbitrary in


reference (cf. (78b), (80c), and (81c) above) unless the

i
|

i
verb governing the NP has agreement which identifies it.

since I have not assumed small clause structure in the

!
i
I
i
;

preceding analysis, neither will I here.

Still, it may be that some XP in (86) does exist, but

If there is no small clause structure, the problem is |


how to avoid generating a nonthematic element in a comple- *
ment position.

Let us assume that the same option which

applies to subjects applies here as well, i.e., that the


nonthematic elements there and it in (84) are instead
generated in the nonthematic specifier of VP.

Thus, the

d-structure of (84) is (87).


(87) a.

b.

I
!

I INFL [ it [ consider [a pleasure to be here j


VP
V?
j
tonight]]]
God INFL [ there [ made [be a man in the
VP
Vf
garden]]]

I
!
j Two operations derive the surface form of this sentence:

j
I
I
!

jmovement of V to INFL; assignment by V (or its trace) of

!Case to the left and perhaps the right as well.

A dual direction of Case-assignment was previously


assumed for INFL in Dutch A; now, the same mechanism is
seen to operate in English VPs.

And in fact it is pos

sible to generalize this dual direction to the VPs of all


I
j

other core nonNSLs, all of which lack null objects.


That is, apparently all core nonNSLs except French,

for, as we have seen in (80) above, French has null thema- j


!

tic objects.

Despite these null objects, it is still the

j
t
|
i
|

i case that nonthematic pronouns inside VP are optionally


lexical in French.

(88)

je trouve (ga) stupide que Marie soit partie


I find
it stupid that Marie is
left
'I consider it stupid that Marie left1

i
j
i

Thus, Case inside VP in French must also be assigned in


both directions.

It is just that Case-assignment is some-

how circumvented in the examples in (80), repeated below

i
j

in (89).

|
l

(89) a. ne me
d^rangez pas 0
NEG lsDO.CL bother NEG
1don11 bother m e !1
b. une bonnebiere reconcilie 0 avec
soi-meme
a good
beer reconcile
with oneself
'a good beer reconciles ARB with oneself1
Jaeggli (1982,1986b) has independently proposed a
mechanism which achieves the desired results.

When direct

object clitics appear in Spanish sentences, he noted, the


argument associated with those clitics cannot be lexical

(Jaeggli 1982:14).

(90) a.

vimos la casa de Mafalda


we saw the house of Mafalda
'we saw M's house'

!
'
!
425

(90) b.

la
vimos 0
3sfD0.CL we saw
'we saw it'

c. *la vimos la casa de Mafalda


Jaeggli concludes that the clitic has absorbed the Case
which the lexical object requires.
;

The application of this Case-absorption analysis to

French is direct for the most part.

Though I have assumed |


I
that Case is bidirectional in French VPs, the clitic in
jI
i

(89a) absorbs that Case, such that a null object is licit. I


An invisible clitic is apparently required to allow the
null arbitrary object in (89b), though this must crucially
be a clitic without either feature specifications or fea
ture slots.

That is, it is not apparent how null

arbitrary objects evade Case in French, if indeed Case

j
t

inside VP is assigned in both directions.


The analysis presented thus far suggests that the

distribution of bidirectional Case inside VP should be the j


I
j same as the distribution of bidirectional nominative Case.
This assumption is supported by the distribution of non
thematic and thematic pronouns inside VP in English,
French, and Dutch.
However, it is also the case that nonthematic and
thematic pronouns inside VP are also obligatorily lexical
in German (F. Muller-Gotama, p.c.).
(91) a. diese Medizin macht *(jemand) mtide
this medicine make
someone drowsy
'this medicine makes one drowsy'

|
1
i
426

(91) b.

ich halte es ftir mbglich dass er kommt


I
hold it for possible that he come
f I
consider it likely that he will come1

The same also holds true of Franconian German, another


dialect of German (like Bavarian) which allows null themaI
| ticsubjects.
(These examples courtesy of Ursula Feola.)

I
1
|

de Aznei
macht ain mede
the medicine makes one drowsy
'the medicine makes one drowsy'

j
'
j

i halt 's fur megli


S'
I hold it for possible S
'it consider it likely that S'

(92) a.

b.

The only languages in which nonthematic elements inside VP


are null, in fact, are the core NSLs, e.g., Italian (Rizzi
1986a:542).
(93)

ritengo
0 probabile che ...
I believe
probable that
'I believe it probable that...'

i
It would therefore appear that VP Case is assigned to |
its left (i.e., to the specifier of VP) whenever INFL in
that language assigns g-Case to the left.
be?

Why should this j

Because Case-assignment inside VP is also g-Case, V

always being filled at d-structure by a verb.

Thus, I

have uncovered the link between null pronouns in the

|
i

subject position and in nonsubject positions like direct


object.

|the

Only in core NSLs, where g-Case is assigned to

right (i.e., to the complement position) should there

!be null nonthematic elements inside VP, i.e., in constructions like (93).
To summarize: in general, it is argued that the
parameter settings for g-Case motivated in section 5.2

j
*
!
j

!
i
427

hold not only for INFL but for VP as well.

And since only

the subject is the head of a nonlexical category, i.e.,


for all nonsubjects the head is a lexical category, F-Case
is irrelevant.

As a result, it is further argued that

jthematic direct objects may be null in either of three


ways, two of which were made explicit in the text: Case
|
may be assigned to the complement position and the null
pronouns may move to the Caseless specifier position; or,
jthey may move to a Case-marked specifier if Case is
absorbed (by clitics).
i
i
j
The third way in which a thematic object may be
lexical is available only to arbitrary null pronouns.
Since these pronouns lack features, they do not need to
move to the specifier position in order to be identified
(by SPEC-HEAD agreement); thus, if g-Case is assigned to
the specifier of VP, then they may remain in situ.

This

is a much better solution than the phantom featureless


Case-absorbing clitic stipulated above.

Note that it also

describes the only situation in which a null nonsubject


may remain in the complement position.
;

Nonthematic elements within VP, which I have assumed

are generated in the specifier of VP, are null only if the


language assigns g-Case to the right, i.e., to the comple
ment position.

428

5.3.2

The diachronic perspective

In this subsection, I present an overview of the


listory of subject pronouns in French, with an eye towards
establishing the major stages, or types, in that history.
i
Each stage is then equated with one of the previously
analyzed types.

I assume that if my theory of licensing

is adequate, then the motivation for the linguistic chan


ges mediating between those stages should be clear and
^consistent with my characterization of the stages.
Like all Romance languages, French has descended from
jVulgar Latin (VL). VL at the end of the fifth century
1
A.D. featured agreement morphology for six person and
number combinations, two nominal cases, and an underlying
SVO order, if the fact that roughly 70% of the sentences
in the litterature had SVO order (Rohlfs 1970) is to be
jtrusted. By the criteria adopted above, this was a lan
guage of the core NSL type: nonthematic subjects were
Jalways null and thematic subjects were optionally null in
all syntactic contexts.
i
j

No records of the Gallo-Romance language, spoken in


the period between the end of VL and the advent of Old

French (OFr) in the mid 9th century, exist.

It is known

|that the Franks, a Germanic tribe, invaded the area of


i
modern-day France, and established their military and
'feudal control.

However, apart from the introduction of a

restricted vocabulary, occasional derivational morphology


and perhaps the Germanic strong stress pattern, we can
429

only guess, based upon the characteristics of the later


jversions of French, that the language of the time remained
Romance in most ways.
The one glaring exception to this statement and per
haps the one characteristic more than any other which
separates modern French (modFr) from its sister Romance
i

languages is the verb-second constraint, which must have


I
also been introduced by the Franks since the verb-second
'constraint is otherwise found only in other Germanic lan
guages.

The effect of the verb-second constraint upon

null subjects has previously been mentioned in the discus


sion of restricted NSLs in section 5.2.2.5.

When in the

topic position, a subject is Case-marked and lexical, as


are all elements moved to A -positions; when not a topic,
a matrix subject may be null.

(These examples of Old

French from Kibler 1984:4,77.)


(94) a.

ses sires est


liez et
joianz
her lord be/3s happy and joyful
her husband is happy and joyful

b. 1 enfant aport-e (il)


i
the child
bring-3s he
|
'he brought the child
i
|
a s one would also expect of a restricted NSL like Old
jFrench, the only examples of a lexical nonthematic pro
nouns are those in which the element is sentence-initial.
i
!(Examples from H&rm& 1983:170, the first from Le Jeu de
i
'saint Nicolas, the second from a prose section of Le Roman
jde Tristan. )

430

(95) a.

gard-es qu' il n en
escap un seus
guard-2s that
NEG+of them escape one only
'see to it that none of them escape

b.

ce
sera domige grant se il en
muert
that be
pity
great if
ofthem die
nul
anyone
it will be a great pity if any of them die

i
These two facts follow directly from the analysis of
I
restricted NSLs given in section 5.2.2.5. Unlike the
other restricted NSLs that I have examined, i.e., Bavarian
German and West Flemish, OFr had obligatorily lexical
subjects in subordinate clauses (Adams 1987:2).
i
(96)
einsi corur-ent 0 par mer tant que il
vindr-ent
thus ran-3p
by sea until
they come-3p
a Cademelee
to Cadmee
thus they ran by the sea until they came to
Cadmee
In section 5.2.2.5, I noted that there were two
options for thematic subjects in subordinate clauses in
the restricted NSLs: if V does not move to INFL, g-Case is
irrelevant, F-Case is assigned to the complement position,
so a pronoun which moves to the specifier position is
null; if there is V-INFL movement, however, g-Case is
uniformly assigned to the specifier and all pronouns are
lexical.

The first option corresponds to Bavarian German

and West Flemish, both of which allow null thematic sub


jects; the second is Old French, which does not.

(Note

|also the prediction that the first two languages should


I
have null nonthematic subjects and Old French lexical ones
!

in subordinate clauses.

The first half of this prediction

431

is correct, but I have been unable to find the relevant


data to check the second half of the prediction.)
It is an interesting question to ask why this dif
ference exists, though there is an apparent answer.

Only

pFr among the restricted NSLs in my sample is a SVO lan


guage. This underlying SVO order in subordinate clauses
1
has precisely the same surface order as the verb-second
phenomenon in matrix sentences, i.e., a single lexical
^element preceded the verb.

Apparently, speakers of OFr

jgeneralized over the two constructions, such that what


caused sentence-initial subjects to be lexical in main
clauses, i.e., g-Case assigned to the specifier because of
V-INFL movement, was assumed to operate in subordinate
clauses as well.

With the SOV orders of Bavarian German

and West Flemish, there is no such confusion, and so no


such reanalysis.
By late OFr, the case and agreement paradigms, both
of which maintained the VL distinctions in earlier OFr,
|began to unravel.

Only a single case is found in the

[Anglo-Norman dialect of the 13th century, and this became


the norm elsewhere no later than the 14th century.
[early OFr agreement paradigm, listed in

The

(97), was also

subject to leveling.
(97)

singular
first
second
third

-0,-e
-(e )s
-(e )t

plural
-(i )ons
-(i)ez
-ent

432

'As early as the 12th century, the final t of the third


Lingular form dropped.

During the same time, the final s

Lf the second singular also began to weaken; by the 16th


jcentury, the slow reduction to a schwa was complete.
Somewhat later, between the 14th and 16th centuries,
|third person plural form followed suit.

the

By the end of

Middle French (midFr: early 14th to early 17th century),


jthe modern system of agreement was complete.
I (98)

singular

first
second
third

-0
-0
-0

plural
-ons
-ez

-0

Two changes roughly cooccurred with these morphologi


cal syncretisms.

First, the sentential word order in

midFr shifted from the verb-second characteristic of OFr


to the basic SVO order found in the modern language.
Second, all thematic subjects (with, of course, the excep
tion of PRO) became obligatory, grammarians insisting that
they be overt in the 16th century, though the textual
evidence suggests that the change was complete one or two
centuries earlier.
There was also a greater tendency in midFr for non
thematic pronouns to be lexical, though in many instances
they remained null.

Assuming that the distribution of the

lexical nonthematic subjects remained the same as before,


i.e., restricted to sentence-initial position in main
clauses, this represents the third stage in the history of
(French: the EXE-NSL type.
i

433

Finally, nonthematic subjects became obligatorily


lexical, and so resulted the fourth stage in the history
of French: the present-day core nonNSL.
The history of French thus yields the four types
isolated in section 5.2, and repeated in (99): the core
NSL, a restricted NSL, an EXE-NSL/Dutch type, and the core
I
nonNSL type.
(99)

a.
b.
c.
d.
e.
f.
gh.

direction
of
G-Case

direction
of
F-Case

thematic
subject
position

right
right
right
right
left
left
left
left

right
right
left
left
right
right
left
left

CPLT
SPEC
CPLT
SPEC
CPLT
SPEC
CPLT
SPEC

core NSL
*
*
restricted NSL
*
EXE-NSL; Dutch
nonNSL

The explanation of the first change, from core NSL to


restricted NSL, is fairly direct.

The importation of the

verb-second requirement into the grammar of OFr introduced


the requirement that where no other element was topijcalized, a lexical nonthematic subject became obligatory.
This can only be accomplished if the directionality of gCase parameter is reset such that specifiers are assigned
,Case.

That is, the first change is directly related to

the verb-second phenomenon.


It may well be the case that at some time in its
early history OFr was like Bavarian German and West
Flemish with respect to subordinate clauses.

Due to the

surface parallel between matrix verb-second word order and

434

subordinate SVO word order, however, subordinate subjects


became analyzed as obligatorily lexical, in the manner
described above.

The next change, from restricted NSL to the EXE-

NSL/Dutch type follows closely, conceptually speaking, on


|the reanalysis of OFr subordinate subjects as obligatorily
lexical.

This left only a single construction in which

thematic subjects might be null.

As a result, lexical

thematic pronouns overlapped significantly with null


thematic pronouns in terms of behavior.

For example, even

jin early OFr, it is clear that lexical pronouns may be


either emphatic or nonemphatic, even in the postverbal
I
position where null pronouns presumably occurred. This
contrasts sharply with lexical pronouns in true NSLs,
where lexical thematic pronouns are always emphatic if
they contrast with null pronouns.

The directionality of

F-Case parameter became reset when the lexical thematic


ipronouns finally took over all functions.
The final change is less a matter of null subjects
ithan it is of word order. Recall that the major dif!
ference between Dutch A and the core NSLs, according to
these parameters, is a matter of double-subject construc
tions.

Consequently, I have nothing interesting to say.


I
I
i

435

I 5.4

Comparison with other analyses

There is some difficulty with making a fair compari-

;son of the present analysis with others, for none command


I
the same range of data. The method of exhaustively lis!ting all possible null pronoun sites has a priori afforded !
me two advantages: the number of languages which are
i
;
1 accounted for and the number of null pronoun sites which
j are analyzed under a single analysis.

I do not ignore these advantages in this section, but

my main task is rather to make comparisons with my analysis on a more item-specific level, i.e., in terms of the
more limited scenarios covered in the competing analyses.

I
It might be supposed that my concentration upon a crosslinguistic expanse of data has made my analysis less
applicable to these specific tasks, but I hope to convince
the reader that my analysis also enjoys a greater adequacy
on the more item-specific level.
I have organized this discussion of competing
analyses by the three phenomena which I have argued must
be at the core of any theory of licensing: the lack of a
lexical alternative to PRO, the failure of identification
in Icelandic, and the distribution of lexical nonthematic

subjects.

All of these questions have been addressed

frequently.
Each competing analysis will be judged in two ways,

in terms of internal and external consistency.

The first

j
j

^
1

I is a matter of how well a particular analysis stands up to !

the evaluative criteria of explanatory and descriptive

1
i

(both language-internal and cross-linguistic) adequacy.

The second is whether that analysis extends in an interes- ;


I
ting way to the other licensing phenomena.
j
The first arena of comparison is PRO.

In the recent

past, the distribution of PRO (and the concomitant lack of !


a lexical alternative to PRO) has been explained in two

main ways: the PRO theorem, which treats PRO as an EC

i unto itself; and the claim that the distribution of PRO

! follows from the same principles which account for the


i
j distribution of any null pronoun.
Adherents of the PRO theorem, e.g., Chomsky (1981),

!
i

maintain that PRO is dually classified as a pronoun and an j


i

anaphor, which entails that it is subject to the contradictory binding conditions of both ECs.

The ploy is to

I
!

claim that PRO is ungoverned, thus lacking a governing

category, and so immune from those contradictory mandates.


By stipulation, an INFL [-tense] is deemed an
'ungovernor1, and so PRO is supposed to be limited to the
specifier of a nonfinite IP.

A lexical PRO is ruled out

under this set of assumptions because lexical NPs require


1
| Case and Case requires government.
j

This analysis is faulty in two ways, one conceptual,

i
the other empirical.

The conceptual inadequacy is due to

the notion of 1ungovernment', which is nonsensical in

terms of structure, for the IP which contains PRO must


project from a head (i.e., INFL) and so PRO is clearly
437

governed.

It is possible, of course, to maintain that a

nonfinite INFL is not an adequate governor in some sense,


e.g., it is not specified for features, as I have argued

in section 4.3, though it is unclear how an inadequate


governor allows PRO to escape the binding conditions.
Furthermore, the notion Tungovernment' exists for one |
reason and one reason only: to capture the distribution of j
PRO.

That is,

it is an ad hoc stipulation.

But the fact !

that it captures this distribution more adequately than


other analyses makes it a useful stipulation, and so it is
adopted without reservation in much GB work.
If my analysis of arbitrary null objects in section
4.4 is correct, however, the distributional adequacy of

The PRO theorem j


i
restricts PRO to subjects of infinitives, yet there are
|
the PRO theorem is seriously questioned.

cases of PRO in the object position.

Furthermore, these

object PROs are not governed by an underspecified head; in


fact, at least in the case of arbitrary null objects

identified by adjunct predicates, it is absolutely the


case that they are governed by the verb which subcategorizes for them.
The hypothesis that PRO is licensed by the same
mechanisms which license null pronouns (cf. Jaeggli 1982,

Borer 1986), on the other hand, predicts that PRO should

j
i
!

possibly occur outside the subject position.

The major

problem with this approach, according to PRO theorem


adherents, is the fact that it allows PRO to occur

I
i
j

anywhere a null pronoun does, and this is clearly not the

case.

Thus, some second principle must interact with the

licensing principles in order to constrain the distribu-

tion of PRO, though difficulties with determining the

| identifier of arbitrary null pronouns have hindered the


1
;correct statement of this second principle.

In the preceding two sections, I have developed


| analyses of both the mechanisms involved in the identifi
cation of arbitrary null pronouns and the licensing of
null pronouns in general.

These mechanisms, as I have

demonstrated, are not ad hoc, for they are constrained by


general theories of identification and licensing.

The

conjunction of these mechanisms, I have argued, overcome


the inadequacies of the PRO-as-null pronoun approach.

j
t

In particular, I claim that PRO is null because it is ;


Caseless.

That is, rather than posit some other short

coming of infinitival INFL, I take the surface observation


i

that infinitives do not assign nominative Case at face

value.

PRO in object position, I have also argued, is

possible whenever Case is not assigned to the complement


of VP.
of PRO.

But this is not enough to capture the distribution


Appended to these licensing statements must be

some awareness of the conditions under which a null pronoun may be identified as arbitrary in reference.

Though

a PRO is licensed in all null pronoun sites, it only

occurs where that null pronoun shares an index with an


agreementless identifier, i.e., a predicate, a featureless
439

INFL, or, in the case of orphan prepositions in French, a


featureless agreement.
The present approach to PRO therefore manages to
I account for a greater range of facts than the PRO theorem,
|
j without the involvement of ad hoc statements.
In addi|tion, it captures the distribution of PRO more precisely
I
than other analyses which assume that PRO is a null pro
noun.

l
j

i
|

By any measure of linguistic adequacy, this means

I
j

that the present analysis has demonstrated superiority

!with respect to the distribution of PRO.

i
The other two phenomena addressed in previous

|
I

theories of licensing (including those analyses which

never discussed licensing per se, but nevertheless posited


i
some mechanism equivalent to licensing) are often com
bined, much as my discussion of null subject licensing in
section 5.2 did.

I begin with those analyses which are

more concerned with null thematic subjects, address next


those which cover licensing of both null thematic and

nonthematic pronouns, and close with those primarily con-

I
i
I

cerned with nonthematic pronouns.


In the first group are three analyses--by Rizzi,
Jaeggli, and Adams--the first two which I discussed in
section 5.1.

'

Rizzi's principle of licensing requires t h a t j

a null pronoun be Case-marked by an identifying head.

Presumably, a language acquirer, based upon pronominal

i
|

gaps which 'appear' in the input data, learns that a


particular head is of the licensing sort.

1
!
;
440

Two problems, again one conceptual and the other


empirical, plague this proposal.

The conceptual difficul

ty is a matter of how Rizzi envisions the null pronoun


parameter.

For him, there is a universal set of licensing

heads from which the acquirer learns a subset. But there


i
are no connections between the members of the subset in
1Rizzifs schema.

Thus, there is no reason to expect that

the option of null subjects should entail the possibility


|of null (arbitrary) objects, which my analysis has shown
*
1to be the case. Furthermore, the change from a language
!
allowing null subjects, e.g., Old French, to one without

null subjects, e.g., modern French, is purely accidental

i
>
I
|

for Rizzi, since the parameter interacts in no way with

any other aspect of the grammar.

On the empirical side, Rizzis theory ignores two


points at the core of the present analysis.

First, by

making Case relevant, he explicitly denies that PRO is a


null pronoun.

The demonstration in this and the preceding j


i

chapters that it falls within both the theory of identifi- i


cation and licensing indicates otherwise, of course.
second point is a matter of lexicalization.

The

By assigning

Case to null pronouns, Rizzi removes Case as a determiner


of lexicalization.

This may only be an oversight, though

it is not clear how anything less than Case can be respon-|


i
sible for the lexicalization of the Classical Arabic non- j
|
thematic subjects embedded under ?anna, which I have dis- i
cussed repeatedly in the text (cf. section 5.1.2).

I
441

As noted in section 5.1, the analysis of Jaeggli


(1982,1986c), who implicitly proposes a theory of
I licensing in which a null pronoun is either Caseless or
i

Inot governed (by a Case-assigner), is much closer to the


|present proposal.

In particular, both theories of

; licensing include PRO in a general theory of null pronouns, and both posit the lack of Case to be important to

!
|

null pronouns.
There are, of course, major differences between the
two theories in the way that Caselessness is attained.
For Jaeggli, a null direct object is Caseless because the
clitic identifier (at least in Spanish) demonstrably ab
sorbs the objective Case.

This solution may be adequate

for languages which do not allow object agreement and


lexical objects to cooccur, e.g., Spanish, but for those
which allow both, e.g., Swahili, it is far less motivated, j
While adopting Jaeggli's clitic-as-Case absorber

hypothesis to account for null objects in French, my


analysis also suggests that there is a more general source |
I
for Caseless null pronouns, i.e., Caseless A-positions
!
(cf. the multiple A-position hypothesis discussed in sec
tion 5.1.4).

Two important descriptive differences also separate

the two analyses: arbitrary null objects and the EXE-NSL

type of language.

As for the first, it seems undeniable

that this null pronoun is governed by the matrix verb;

further, this governing verb is also a Case-assigner,

!
i

since there is no clitic to absorb Case.

Thus, there

appears to be a direct counterexample to Jaegglifs hypo


thesis: a null pronoun which is both governed by a Case-

assigner and Case-marked.

Of course, one might posit a

null clitic which absorbs Case, but there is little justi- ;


i
fication for such a step, as I have noted above.
.
The EXE-NSL type, especially Icelandic, is also
troublesome for Jaeggli because the only property which
j

distinguishes it from a NSL is the stipulation that

Icelandic INFL governs the subject.

This might be suffi-

cient, were it not for the fact that this difference is

^
i
i

not verifiable in any way other than null subjects, i.e.,


the mechanism is circular and ad hoc.

Although it is

possible that the language faculty is prewired for this


difference, such that the acquirer need only recognize
null subjects as input to set this parameter, note that
such a view requires a more complicated innate specification.

An analysis which relies upon less construction-

specific evidence, on the other hand, requires a less


detailed, i.e., a simpler, grammar.

j
i
j
I

Note that this latter |

criticism is equally applicable to Rizzifs universal set

of licensing heads.
I have also briefly mentioned the analysis in Adams
(1986), where it is proposed that the position of a null

i
j

subject is identified (i.e., licensed) by the head which


governs it.

What makes her proposal unique is the claim

|
!

that government is directional: null subjects must be

governed by their feature-identifying heads in the canoni


cal direction.
In Italian and Spanish, this canonical direction is
to the right, such that a null subject must occur in the
1
i
i
position of the inverted subject in declarative sentences,

,though it may remain in situ in verb-preposing contexts,


!
i
e.g., questions. Thus, Adams allows the conditions for

j
I
,
|
!

licensing to be met in two distinct ways: a null subject


is licensed by INFL in either its d-structure position

I
i

(asuming that postverbal subjects are base-generated), or


after INFL moves to C.

Accordingly, languages where move-

j
i
j

ment of INFL to C is common (i.e., verb-second languages)


should allow null subjects if the canonical direction of
government is rightward.

This is in fact the cornerstone

of Adams analysis of Old French, a verb-second language

with some null subjects.

But Adams herself admits that her analysis fails to


extend to Icelandic and Yiddish, both of which are SVO

i
|

verb-second languages (Adams 1987:13, fn.16).

!
t

Since she

addresses neither PRO nor nonthematic subjects in any


detail, the distribution of null thematic subjects in NSLs
and restricted NSLs would be the one puzzle (among those
posed at the beginning of this chapter) that her theory of I
j licensing might solve. But because it does not disI
Itinguish restricted NSLs like Old French from EXE-NSLs
1
|
I like Icelandic and Yiddish, it appears that she has
I

\
i
;
I
I
'

!
444

proposed an analysis specific to Old French.

As such, it is

uninteresting.
Three analyses remain to be discussed, each of which
directly addresses nonthematic pronouns: Travis, Safir,
and Reuland.

Because the first two also deal with thema

tic subjects, I begin with them.


Travis's (1984) analysis is quite extraordinary, in
so far as she is the only investigator to suggest that
null pronouns are licensed by some form of theta-theory.
Specifically, she claims that null pronouns are subject to
the ECP and that all null subjects satisfy the ECP.

To

achieve this end, she further claims that all complements


satisfy the ECP, and she expands the definition of comple
ment to include certain subjects.
(100)

if VP and NP are
i) generated adjacent to one another, or
ii) adjacent because INFL is empty,
then NP is the complement of VP

A nonthematic subject is always null when a complement,


she explains, because a thematic subject is only lexical
when it is focused or stressed and a nonthematic subject
is never emphasized in any way.
In this way, Travis is able to derive the fact that
only sentence-initial nonthematic subjects are lexical in
German: in those contexts,

(101a), the sentence-second

tensed element separates the nonthematic subject from the


VP; in inversion and subordinate contexts, (101b) and

445

(101c) respectively, the conditions of adjacency are met


and the subject is null.
(101)

a. es/*0 INFL t t VP
b.

XP INFL *es/0 t VP

c. ...dass *es/0 t VP INFL


|
Note that this analysis applies to thematic subjects as

well, assuming that there is adequate identification, such j


<

that the following scenario holds as well.


(102)

a. PN/*0 INFL VP
b.

INFL PN/0 VP

i
j
I
Note that this mechanism might be extended to PRO, since a |
c.

INFL VP PN/0

featureless INFL falls under (lOOii).

Assuming as Travis does that V moves to INFL in all


languages, (102a) represents nonNSLs; (102b), VS0 NSLs
I

like Irish and Chamorro; and (102c) the option taken by


SVO NSLs like Italian.

|
i
1

That is, she agrees with Adams

Ithat null subjects in Italian are postverbal.

Note that

both leave unexplained the ability of some languages, like

i
i

Finnish, to have null subjects despite the lack of overt

subject inversion.

I
Travis1 analysis has other shortcomings as well.
!
,
Ibegin with, her contention that subjects in NSLs are

To

i
<
j

| lexical only when stressed is overstated: lexical postver- :


i

ibal subjects in the restricted NSLs, e.g., Old French, may (


^
+
!be stressed or unstressed. This weakens her claim to have
1 accounted for the obligatorily null status of nonthematic
i
446

subjects in the core NSLs (and possibly PRO).

Like all

previous analysts, Travis also fails to explain lexical


nonthematic subjects in Classical Arabic: these pronouns
occur in the same structural position in main and subordi
nate clauses, such that if they are null in matrix clauses
they should also be null in subordinate contexts.
Travis analysis also fails in terms of Icelandic and
standard German.

Both languages have structures which

license null pronouns in other languages; she therefore


appeals to some concept of richness of agreement.

How

ever, I have repeatedly pointed out the impossibility of


such a venture: it can never differentiate between

Bavarian and standard German, for example.

Thus, though Travis analysis does attempt to explain!


the phenomena with which I have framed my theory of licen- 1
sing, it has sufficient shortcomings to prefer my

analysis.
Safirs line of reasoning begins with the assumption

that languages with null nonthematic subjects have a rule |


I
of NOM-drop and those without null nonthematic subjects do |
not.

This rule never applies in Dutch and English; in

core NSLs, it operates at all times; in the other two


types, it is frequently overruled, such that a lexical
nonthematic subject is sometimes found in restricted NSLs
and the Icelandic type.
Since the restricted NSLs and the languages of the
EXE-NSL type that Safir considers are all verb-second

I
|
|
|
I
I
j
i
I
j
I

447

languages, Safir claims that whatever it is that causes


the verb-second phenomenon is also responsible for the
lexicalization of string-initial lexical nonthematic subI
! jects. When the verb second requirement is not satisfied

iby the fronting of any other XP, Safir suggests that an


insertion rule applies.
I

(103)

insert es as required

Safir also posits a second parameter, the presence or

! absence of subject clitics, which is additionally required


'
i
Iof all languages with null thematic subjects from those
!

i
iwithout.

Subject clitics, he suggests, are found univer-

S
j

sally in the core and restricted NSLs but never in the


EXE-NSL type.

These subject clitics essentially supply

pronominal features to null thematic subjects and so con


stitute part of the identification aspect rather than
licensing.

Thus, licensing, as it is implicit in Safir's

analysis, reduces to the rule of NOM-drop.


In terms of the verb-second languages, this NOM-drop
i

rule and the interference of topicalization (required by


the verb second constraint) makes predictions equivalent
to my own.

Both approaches are able to distinguish three

types of languages with respect to the lexicalization of


nonthematic subjects.

Nevertheless, my analysis is

superior in two ways.

First is the matter of lexical

j
j
j
the j

448

nonthematic subjects in Classical Arabic.

For me, the

lexicalization of these pronouns follows directly from


i
I observable fact that the complementizer ?anna assigns

Case.

Safirfs analysis as is does not predict this situa

tion, though he is no doubt capable of positing some


language-specific requirement which is not satisfied in
these subordinate clauses, such that a lexical nonthematic
subject must be inserted.
Still, unless that requirement
i
, is tied to the Case-assigning properties of ?anna, it
! would seem that a simple generalization is lost.

And if

j Case is relevant to lexical nonthematic subjects in


i Arabic, it is not clear why it is also not relevant to
i
Case in other languages with lexical nonthematic subjects.
The second point is a matter of motivation.

My Case-

based analysis of null pronoun licensing is built upon


independently and transparently motivated principles.
I
Safirs basic ruse, the NOM-drop rule, is not; it has no

direct motivation other than null subjects, i.e., it is

circular.

All other things being equal (ignoring the

Classical Arabic problem for Safir), the more motivated

theory is also preferable on grounds of simplicity, pre


cisely because it does not require an additional ad hoc
statement.
The last analysis to be considered, Reuland (1983),
is unusual because he denies that nonthematic pronouns,
such as there and it in English, are truly nonthematic
elements.

i
i

Instead, he proposes that nonthematic subjects

i are null in all languages, though this fact is obscured i n ,


j some languages.

For example, the pronominal it in Englishj

r
\

j (and het in Dutch) is lexical

when a chain, e.g., a

sentential complement which cannot receive Case directly,


requires Case.

There in English and er in Dutch, on the

other hand, are inserted because agreement is too weak in


these languages.

Like Safir, Reuland claims that other

lexical elements, e.g., es in German, are inserted in


order to satisfy the verb-second constraint.
Like Safir's, Reuland's analysis seems roughly equi

valent to mine, at least when only the verb-second lan


guages are considered.

The Classical Arabic situation

falls outside Reuland's explanatory range, of course. , In


addition, Reuland's use of agreement to explain the lexicalization of there and er does not hold up under cross-

i
^
!
!

linguistic scrutiny: as demonstrated in section 3.4.1.4,

j
i
|

there are many languages in the world without agreement


yet which never have lexical nonthematic elements.
Two other problems limit the value of Reuland's
analysis.

First, he derives the lexicalization of 'non

thematic' elements like there and it by a number of


mechanisms, whereas my analysis requires only one.

Fur

ther, his analysis in no way extends in an explanatory


manner to the other two phenomena any theory of licensing
should address, i.e., the ditribution of PRO and the
failure of Icelandic to be a NSL.
For these reasons, I conclude that my analysis once
again has demonstrated superiority.

I
j
>
t
i
!
j

450

5.5 Final remarks on licensing

This chapter began with the observation that the

theory of identification failed to explain the distribu


tion of at least three phenomena: nonthematic pronouns,
PRO, and languages with agreement but no null pronouns,

e.g., Icelandic.

On the basis of these three phenomena,

plus Rizzis suggestion that null pronouns, like all other


ECs, should be both identified and licensed, I sought a
theory of licensing.
A theory of licensing was subsequently proposed,
utilizing the GB framework.

In the first section, the

three cornerstones of my theory of licensing were intro


duced and motivated: the hypothesis that Case causes lexi
calization; the hypothesis that Case assignment is obliga- !
tory; and the hypothesis that specifiers are A-positions
when the complements they govern are A-positions as well.
In the second section of this chapter, I classified
i

languages, according to whether thematic or nonthematic

subjects could be null.

Four types were isolated: core

NSLs, which have obligatorily null nonthematic subjects


and optionally null thematic subjects; restricted NSLs,
which have some null nonthematic subjects and some obligal
i

torily lexical ones, but also have the option of null


thematic subjects; EXE-NSLs, which allow some null nonthe
matic subjects but no null thematic subjects; and the core
nonNSLs, which have only lexical thematic subjects, at
least in tensed clauses.

451

Because nonthematic subjects are always null in NSLs,

I proposed that they occur in sites which are always


Caseless.

On the basis of languages like Dutch, which has

sentences in which nonthematic and thematic subjects


cooccur, I argued that the nonthematic subject position

was the specifier of IP.

Thus, I concluded that nomina-

tive Case is assigned (by INFL) to the complement of IP in |


NSLs.

A thematic subject is generated in this position,

!
j

and it remains in situ for Case-assignment (F-Case) if it


I
is lexical; a null thematic subject moves to the Caseless
1
specifier position, not only to avoid F-Case but to be

identified via SPEC-HEAD agreement.


i
Restricted NSLs are essentially like NSLs in terms of
d-structure: nonthematic subjects are specifiers and thematic subjects are complements.

Furthermore, nominative

I
'
\
!

(F-)Case is assigned to the complement position as in


NSLs.

The difference is that these languages are verbI

second languages, which entails the movement of the verb


to the head of CP and the topicalization of some XP.

This i
i
provides another context (besides the Case-marked comple- i
ment) in which a thematic subject is lexical, since all

I
j
topics (except those in languages with a discourse-linking!
rule, like Mandarin) are lexical.

il

The Case behind this

lexicalization I called g-Case, since it is assigned by

I
!

the filled head which governs the Case-assignee.


G-Case is also responsible for the lexicalization of

nonthematic subjects in the restricted NSLs, for when no


452

other XP is topicalized, a nonthematic subject assumes the


sentence-initial position, where it receives g-Case and is
lexicalized.
All of the EXE-NSLs are verb-second languages as
I
jwell, which means that they also have lexical nonthematic
i
l
!subjects when these pronouns have been topicalized. But
i
ithe EXE-NSLs differ from the restricted NSLs in that they
lack the option of null thematic subjects.

This, I

j suggested, follows from a different setting of the Case

j
\
i
|
I
j
i
j

parameters in these languages, i.e., I have assumed that


EXE-NSLs assign both g-Case and F-Case to their specifiers.

This forces a thematic subject to be lexical

whenever it is a topic or a specifier.

But it is also

necessaily lexical when it remains in situ, assuming that


the Case-marked nonthematic pronoun in the specifier obli- ,
i
gatorily forms a chain with the thematic pronoun (cf.
j
Safir 1985 for a discussion of these Case-chains).

'
j

The fourth major type I discussed, the core NSLs,

differ from the EXE-NSLs in one major respect: thematic

subjects in the core nonNSLs, I proposed, are generated in !


the specifier of IP position.

As evidence for this hypo-

thesis, I noted that neither English, French, or Swedish


have double-subject constructions whereas languages of all !
the other types do.

If thematic subjects in the core

nonNSLs were IP complements, this prohibition against


double-subject constructions would be unexpected.

All

453

subjects are lexical in the core nonNSLs, then, because


Case is always assigned to the specifier position.
In this way, my theory of licensing distinguishes the j
four types of languages studied in this chapter.

That is, ;

it explains the distribution of null and lexical nonthema- [


i
tic and thematic subjects, two of the three phenomena
i
!noted at the beginning of the chapter. But this theory
has other important ramifications.

In particular, I

!
!

argued in section three that my theory

predicted the

distribution of null and lexical nonthematic pronouns


inside VP.

Furthermore, it was suggested that this theory |


i
of licensing most adequately represented the changes which
I
occurred in the history of French,a modern-day core
|

nonNSL which was once a core NSL.

454

6.0

Concluding remarks

The goals of this dissertation have been grandiose


from the beginning.

Not only have I set myself the goal

of finally explaining null pronoun phenomena, but I have


I also claimed to have demonstrated the particular suitabil1
; ity of a new approach to parametric study, 'deep typology.'
\

It may still not be apparent to the reader that my


methodology is particularly new.

It appears that all

i linguists take roughly this same approach: garner facts,


| generalize, and investigate further.

And it has been

pointed out to me numerous times that it is precisely


cross-linguistic variation which drives GB analyses of

j
i
I
parameters.
In fact, I believe whole-heartedly that this j
i
dissertation falls clearly within the bounds of the GB
I
research paradigm.
Yet I insist there is a difference.

j
i
j

First is the

matter of perspective.

There are, no doubt, many aspects j

of linguistics which can be attained through the careful


study of a small set of facts, e.g., a fragment of the
grammar of one language, but if there was ever any need
for a cross-linguistic perspective, then certainly it is
in the study of parametric variation.

But this perspec

tive is unilaterally missing from studies of parameters.


More important is the different attitude towards
types in this analysis and in the others.

Even in those

|
j
|
1
!
\

GB works which are interested in a wide range of


languages, e.g., Massam (1985) and to a lesser extent

i
455

Safir (1985), the types are defined after the analysis is


complete, rather than as part of the analysis itself.

In

the present work, the first task was a rough approximation'


of the types, and these types, especially those which
I
i became apparent as a consequent of testing the agreement

hypothesis, then became the horizon of the analysis.

!
This relates to another major difference between the
i
I
I
i
| approach taken in this dissertation and that approach
| characteristic of most other GB theory: the utility of
1
j surface data. As noted numerous times, the GB attitude
I
towards the surface is one of distrust, since all impor
tant generalizations are deemed to be abstract.

The

generalizations which have framed my analysis, however,

have been for the most part quite surface-oriented, even


if I have subsequently refined these generalizations via
an abstract level of representation.

But the fact is that

the surface-based theories I have undertaken have been

'

i
essential to this entire enterprise.

At the very least, ij


i

offer my results as evidence of the utility of surface as |


a level of useful generalization.
Because of this reliance upon the surface, as well as
a tendency to create roughly-defined types, it is
j

undoubtedly true that various details have been treated

1 poorly in this dissertation.

For instance, it was never

!
!

j mentioned that nonthematic subjects in French subjunctive |


|
|
j clauses are null, nor was it ever explained why French
j
| nonthematic subjects inside VP were optionally null

instead of obligatorily lexical.

Given enough of these

omissions, the entire house of cards might cave in.

How

ever, the wider perspective that I have taken requires


l

liberties such as these, since it is beyond the scope of a


cross-linguistic perspective to solve every detail of each

; language in the survey.

I must claim, on the basis of

their limited distribution, that these differences, where


they exist, are not major parameters, but instead lowerlevel variation.
To summarize, one last time.

|
i
If there is one aspect I
I

of this dissertation which

merits the highest form of

flattery, I believe, it is

the use of a cross-linguistic

survey to frame the analysis, for unless the full range of


types are enumerated, a parametric theory cannot claim to
be fully adequate.

This framing of the analysis by the

types is deep typology.

i
I
I
I

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IJAL
IULC
JL
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LA
LCC
Lg.
LI
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Journal of Linguistics
Journal Of Linguistic Research
Linguistic Analysis
Linguistic Circle of Canberra
Language
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NLLT Natural Language and Linguistic Theory
SIL
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476