PRO and pro: Comments on Quicoli

  • Ken Safir
Part of the Studies in Natural Language and Linguistic Theory book series (SNLT, volume 35)


Aside from word order perhaps, there are very few aspects of linguistic typology that have been as closely studied as the null subject property, especially from the perspective of recent theoretical work within the principles and parameters framework initiated by Chomsky (1981). The appeal of the parametric perspective is that a variety of language typological characteristics can be linked, if the account is successful, merely by selecting appropriate value settings (provided by Universal Grammar) for formal properties of grammar that are permitted to vary (parameters). Within a principled theory of grammar, the formal setting will have predictable effects which may then be examined in detail. In a wide variety of studies informed by this perspective (see Jaeggli and Safir (1989) for discussion and references) the null subject property has been linked to a range of other properties, or else the parametric perspective has provided a stimulus to distinguish the effects of a positive setting of Null Subject Parameter (i.e., a setting that results in null subjects) from independent sorts of linguistic variation.


Relative Clause Positive Setting Universal Grammar Case Assignment Recent Theoretical Work 
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© Kluwer Academic Publishers 1996

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  • Ken Safir

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