Advertisement

Natural Language & Linguistic Theory

, Volume 36, Issue 2, pp 323–363 | Cite as

Free choice free relative clauses in Italian and Romanian

  • Ivano Caponigro
  • Anamaria Fălăuş
Article

Abstract

This paper aims to bring back to the linguistic scene a largely neglected character that is encountered in Italian and Romanian. This character exhibits a novel combination of morphological, syntactic, semantic, and pragmatic features that, separately, are already attested across languages. It looks like an embedded non-interrogative wh-clause introduced by a wh-phrase that is either made of or contains a wh-root with an affix: the suffix -unque in Italian or the prefix ori- in Romanian. We show that this construction exhibits the same morpho-syntactic properties as -ever free relative clauses in English and the same semantic and pragmatic properties as headed relative clauses introduced by the free choice determiner any in English. Therefore, we label our character a free choice free relative clause. We argue for a syntactic analysis of free choice free relative clauses as true free relatives rather than headed relatives and for a semantic analysis along the lines of some recent proposals about related free choice constructions. We also discuss the meaning of wh-words occurring in free choice free relatives and in related constructions and emphasize the importance of not taking for granted that morpho-syntactic identity necessarily coincides with semantic and pragmatic identity across languages.

Keywords

Free choice Free relative clauses Free choice “any” Wh-words 

Notes

Acknowledgements

We are extremely grateful to Gennaro Chierchia, Veneeta Dayal, and Donka Farkas for their invaluable suggestions, comments, and criticism, in addition to the inspiration they provided with their own work. We would like to thank Emanuela Arosio, Andrea Beltrama, Luciano Caponigro, Gennaro Chierchia, Flavio Feniello, Onelia Rivolta, Jacopo Romoli, and Ubaldo Talarico for sharing their native intuitions and judgments about Italian, as well as Oana Draga, Donka Farkas, Ion Giurgea, Oana Lungu, and Andreea Nicolae for sharing their native intuitions and judgments about Romanian. We are also grateful to Guglielmo Cinque, Cleo Condoravdi, Daniel Kane, Gary Patterson, Carson Schütze, Harold Torrence, three anonymous reviewers, and the audiences at the Linguistics Department at Rutgers University and the Linguistics Department at the University of California Santa Cruz. Anamaria Fălăuş gratefully acknowledges funding from the Basque Government (IT769-13). We, the authors, are solely responsible for any remaining mistakes.

References

  1. Aguilar Guevara, Ana, Maria Aloni, Angelika Port, Radek Simik, Machteld de Vos, and Hedde Zeijlstra. 2010. Semantics and pragmatics of indefinites: Methodology for a synchronic and diachronic corpus study. In Beyond semantics: Corpus-based investigations of pragmatic and discourse phenomena, eds. Stefanie Dipper and Heike Zinsmeister, 1–16. Bochum: BLA. Google Scholar
  2. Aloni, Maria. 2007a. Free choice, modals and imperatives. Natural Language Semantics 15: 65–94. CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  3. Aloni, Maria. 2007b. Free choice and exhaustification: An account of subtrigging effects. In Sinn und Bedeutung 11, ed. Estela Puig-Waldmueller, 16–30. Barcelona: Universitat Pompeu Fabra. Google Scholar
  4. Aloni, Maria, and Angelika Port. 2015. Epistemic indefinites and methods of identification. In Epistemic indefinites: Exploring modality beyond the verbal domain, eds. Luis Alonso-Ovalle and Paula Menéndez-Benito, 117–140. Oxford: Oxford University Press. Google Scholar
  5. Alonso-Ovalle, Luis, and Paula Menéndez-Benito. 2013. Epistemic indefinites: Are we ignorant about ignorance? In 19th Amsterdam Colloquium, eds. Maria Aloni, Michael Franke, and Floris Roelofsen, 35–42. Amsterdam: University of Amsterdam, ILLC. Google Scholar
  6. Battye, Adrian. 1989. Free relatives, pseudo-free relatives, and the syntax of CP in Italian. Rivista di Linguistica 1: 219–250. Google Scholar
  7. Caponigro, Ivano. 2003. Free not to ask: On the semantics of free relatives and wh-words cross-linguistically. PhD diss., University of California, Los Angeles. Google Scholar
  8. Caponigro, Ivano. 2004. The semantic contribution of wh-words and type shifts: Evidence from free relatives cross-linguistically. In Semantics and Linguistic Theory (SALT) 14, ed. Robert B. Young, 38–55. Ithaca: CLC Publications. Google Scholar
  9. Caponigro, Ivano, and Lisa Pearl. 2008. Silent prepositions: Evidence from free relatives. In The syntax and semantics of spatial P, eds. Anna Asbury, Jakub Dotlacil, Berit Gehrke, and Rick Nouwen, 365–385. Amsterdam: Benjamins. CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  10. Caponigro, Ivano, and Lisa Pearl. 2009. The nominal nature of where, when, and how: Evidence from free relatives. Linguistic Inquiry 40(1): 155–164. CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  11. Chierchia, Gennaro. 2006. Broaden your views. Implicatures of domain widening and the spontaneous logicality of language. Linguistic Inquiry 37(4): 535–590. CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  12. Chierchia, Gennaro. 2013. Logic in grammar: Polarity, free choice and intervention. Oxford: Oxford University Press. CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  13. Condoravdi, Cleo. 2015. Ignorance, indifference, and individuation with wh-ever. In Epistemic indefinites: Exploring modality beyond the verbal domain, eds. Luis Alonso-Ovalle and Paula Menéndez-Benito, 213–243. Oxford: Oxford University Press. Google Scholar
  14. Cornilescu, Alexandra, and Ion Giurgea. 2013. The adjective. In A reference grammar of Romanian, eds. Carmen Dobrovie-Sorin and Ion Giurgea, 355–529. Amsterdam: Benjamins. CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  15. Dayal, Veneeta. 1997. Free relatives and ever: Identity and free choice readings. In Semantics and Linguistic Theory (SALT) 7, ed. Aaron Lawson, 99–116. Ithaca: CLC Publications. Google Scholar
  16. Dayal, Veneeta. 1998. Any as inherently modal. Linguistics and Philosophy 21: 433–476. CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  17. Dayal, Veneeta. 2004. The universal force of free choice any. Linguistic Variation Yearbook 4(1): 5–40. Google Scholar
  18. Dayal, Veneeta. 2013a. A viability constraint on alternatives for free choice. In Alternatives in semantics, ed. Anamaria Fălăuş, 88–122. Basingstoke: Palgrave Macmillan. CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  19. Dayal, Veneeta. 2013b. Number and (in)definiteness in FCI/free relatives. Talk presented at the workshop ‘From grammar to meaning: The spontaneous logicality of language’. University of the Basque Country, Vitoria-Gasteiz. Google Scholar
  20. Dinică, Andreea. 2012. Pronumele şi adverbele nehotărâte în limba română [Indefinite pronouns and adverbials in Romanian]. PhD diss., University of Bucharest. Google Scholar
  21. Donati, Caterina, and Carlo Cecchetto. 2011. Relabeling heads: A unified account of relativization structures. Linguistic Inquiry 42: 519–560. CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  22. Farkas, Donka. 1985. Intensional descriptions and the Romance subjunctive mood. New York: Garland Publishers. Google Scholar
  23. Farkas, Donka. 1992. On the semantics of subjunctive complements. In Romance languages and modern linguistic theory, eds. Paul Hirschbühler and E. F. K. Koerner, 69–104. Amsterdam: Benjamins. CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  24. Farkas, Donka. 2002. Extreme non-specificity in Romanian. In Romance languages and linguistic theory, eds. Claire Beyssade, Reineke Bok-Bennema, Frank Drijkoningen, and Paula Monachesi, 127–153. Amsterdam: Benjamins. Google Scholar
  25. Farkas, Donka. 2006. Free choice in Romanian. In Drawing the boundaries of meaning, eds. Betty Birner and Gregory Ward, 71–94. Amsterdam: Benjamins. CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  26. Farkas, Donka. 2013. The semantics of determiners. In A reference grammar of Romanian, eds. Carmen Dobrovie-Sorin and Ion Giurgea, 175–230. Amsterdam: Benjamins. CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  27. Fălăuş, Anamaria. 2015. Romanian epistemic indefinites. In Epistemic indefinites: Exploring modality beyond the verbal domain, eds. Luis Alonso-Ovalle and Paula Menéndez-Benito, 60–81. Oxford: Oxford University Press. Google Scholar
  28. von Fintel, Kai. 2000. Whatever. In Semantics and Linguistic Theory (SALT) 10, eds. Brendan Jackson and Tanya Matthews. 27–39. Ithaca: CLC Publications, Cornell University. Google Scholar
  29. Gheorghe, Mihaela. 2014. Free relative clauses with quantificational reading in old Romanian. In International Conference Globalization, Intercultural Dialogue and National Identity: Language and Discourse, 17–22. Google Scholar
  30. Giannakidou, Anastasia. 2001. The meaning of free choice. Linguistics and Philosophy 24: 659–735. CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  31. Giannakidou, Anastasia, and Lisa Lai-Shen Cheng. 2006. (In)definiteness, polarity, and the role of wh-morphology in free choice. Journal of Semantics 23: 135–183. CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  32. Giurgea, Ion. 2016. The Romanian interrogative particle oare, in a comparative and historical perspective. Ms., Iorgu Iordan–Al. Rosetti Institute of Linguistics, Bucharest. Google Scholar
  33. Givón, Talmy. 2011. Ute reference grammar. Amsterdam: Benjamins. CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  34. Grosu, Alexander. 2013. Relative Clause Constructions and unbounded dependencies. In A reference grammar of Romanian, eds. Carmen Dobrovie-Sorin and Ion Giurgea, 597–662. Amsterdam: Benjamins. CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  35. Heller, Daphna, and Lynsey Wolter. 2011. On identification and transworld identity in natural language: The case of -ever free relatives. Linguistics and Philosophy 34(2): 169–199. CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  36. Horn, Laurence. 1989. A natural history of negation. Chicago: University of Chicago Press. Reprinted 2001; Stanford: CSLI Publications. Google Scholar
  37. Horn, Laurence. 2000. Any and (-)ever: Free choice and free relatives. In 15th annual conference of the Israeli Association for Theoretical Linguistics, ed. Adam Wyner, 71–111. Google Scholar
  38. Horn, Laurence. 2005. Airport ’86 revisited: Toward a unified indefinite any. In The Partee effect, eds. Gregory Carlson and Francis J. Pelletier, 179–205. Stanford: CSLI. Google Scholar
  39. Izvorski, Roumyana. 2000. Free adjunct free relatives. In West Coast Conference on Formal Linguistics (WCCFL) 19, 232–245. Somerville: Cascadilla Press. Google Scholar
  40. Jacobson, Pauline. 1995. On the quantificational force of English free relatives. In Quantification in natural languages, eds. Elke Bach, Elfriede Jelinek, Angelika Kratzer, and Barbara Partee, 451–486. Dordrecht: Kluwer. Google Scholar
  41. Jayez, Jacques, and Lucia Tovena. 2005. Free-choiceness and non individuation. Linguistics and Philosophy 28: 1–71. CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  42. Jayez, Jacques, and Lucia Tovena. 2006. Epistemic determiners. Journal of Semantics 23: 217–250. CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  43. Kadmon, Nirit, and Fred Landman. 1993. Any. Linguistics and Philosophy 16: 353–422. CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  44. Legrand, Jean. 1975. Or and any: The semantics and syntax of two logical operators. PhD diss., University of Chicago. Google Scholar
  45. Matthewson, Lisa, Henry Davis, and Hotze Rullmann. 2007. Evidentials as epistemic modals: Evidence from St’át’imcets. Linguistic Variation Yearbook 7: 201–254. CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  46. Menéndez-Benito, Paula. 2005. The grammar of choice. PhD diss., University of Massachusetts, Amherst. Google Scholar
  47. Menéndez-Benito, Paula. 2010. On universal free choice items. Natural Language Semantics 18: 33–64. CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  48. Montague, Richard. 1973. The proper treatment of quantification in ordinary English. In Approaches to natural language, eds. Jaakko Hintikka, Julius Moravcsik, and Patrick Suppes, 221–242. Dordrecht: Springer. CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  49. Patterson, Gary, and Ivano Caponigro. 2016. The puzzling degraded status of who free relative clauses in English. English Language and Linguistics 20(2): 341–352. CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  50. Polinsky, Maria. 2015. Tsez syntax: A description. Ms., Harvard University. Google Scholar
  51. Rawlins, Kyle. 2013. (Un)conditionals. Natural Language Semantics 21(2): 111–178. CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  52. Reichenbach, Hans. 1947. Elements of symbolic logic. New York: The Free Press. Google Scholar
  53. van Riemsdijk, Henk. 2006. Free relatives. In The Blackwell companion to syntax, eds. Martin Everaert, and Henk van Riemsdijk, Vol. 2, 338–382. Oxford: Blackwell. CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  54. Rizzi, Luigi. 1984. Spiegazione e teoria grammaticale, Padova: C.L.E.S.P. Google Scholar
  55. Sæbø, Kjell Johan. 2001. The semantics of Scandinavian free choice items. Linguistics and Philosophy 24(6): 737–788. CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  56. Zamparelli, Roberto. 2007. On singular existential quantifiers in Italian. In Existence: Semantics and syntax, eds. Ileana Comorovski and Klaus von Heusinger, 293–328. Berlin: Springer. Google Scholar

Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media B.V. 2017

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of LinguisticsUniversity of California, San DiegoLa JollaUSA
  2. 2.Division CNRS (French National Center for Scientific Research)Laboratoire de Linguistique de Nantes (UMR 6310)Nantes Cedex 3France

Personalised recommendations