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Defective ParadigmsMissing Forms and What They Tell Us$
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Matthew Baerman, Greville G. Corbett, and Dunstan Brown

Print publication date: 2010

Print ISBN-13: 9780197264607

Published to British Academy Scholarship Online: January 2012

DOI: 10.5871/bacad/9780197264607.001.0001

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Ineffability through Modularity: Gaps in the French Clitic Cluster*

Ineffability through Modularity: Gaps in the French Clitic Cluster*

Chapter:
(p.150) (p.151) 9 Ineffability through Modularity: Gaps in the French Clitic Cluster*
Source:
Defective Paradigms
Author(s):

Milan Rezac

Publisher:
British Academy
DOI:10.5871/bacad/9780197264607.003.0009

This chapter discusses the gaps in some of the combinations of the preverbal clitics in French. These gaps present a powerful tool for evaluating the foundational hypothesis governing the architecture of the language, particularly the morphophonology-free syntax (MFS) of the language. In the French clitic cluster, the gaps are divided into two categories: the syntactic groups and non-syntactic groups. The syntactic groups invoke syntactic information. The non-syntactic groups meanwhile are comprised of gaps invisible to syntax and dependent on morphophonological information and mechanisms. Also discussed in the chapter is the Person Case Constraint, a syntactic principle that forms the foundation against which other gaps may be measured. Some anomalous combinations are also discussed in the chapter. These combinations betray the workings of the extra-syntactic system which manipulates the morphological features and which imposes constraints on such combinations.

Keywords:   gaps, preverbal clitics, French, French clitic cluster, syntactic groups, syntax, Person Case Constraint

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