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On the left periphery of Latin embedded clauses

(2011)
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Abstract
The main topic of the present thesis is word order in Latin embedded clauses. More specifically, it deals with a specific surface order in which one ore more constituents are found in the left periphery of the embedded clause, to the left of a subordinating conjunction. This particular pattern is referred to as 'Left Edge Fronting', henceforth LEF. The theoretical framework used is the so called 'cartographic' variety of generative grammar, which assumes a richly articulated (functional) structure to form the syntactic backbone of clauses and noun phrases. The first chapter provides some background concerning the theoretical framework one the one hand and the 'discourse configurational' nature of Latin on the other hand. Chapter 2 focuses on the syntax of the particular subtype of embedded clauses that I investigate, namely adverbial clauses (ACs). Special attention is given to the distribution and availability of so called Main Clause Phenomena in ACs. Chapter 3 gives an overview of the results of a large-scale corpus study on word order in ACs, in which texts from 180 BC to 120 AD were taken into account. These results reveal a quantitative left-right asymmetry: it is shown that LEF occurs most frequently in clause-initial ACs. Moreover, relative and demonstrative pronouns are exclusively found in an LEF-position in clause-initial ACs. These two observations give rise to a distinction between two types of LEF: pronoun fronting in initial ACs (LEF1) and XP-fronting in both initial and final ACs (LEF2). The syntax of LEF1 is analyzed in chapters 4 (on relative pronouns) and 5 (on demonstratives): the phenonenon is characterized as a type of topicalization, which is derived in two steps. First, the pronoun undergoes 'internal movement' to the edge of the embedded clause. This step is followed by an operation of clausal pied-piping, targeting the left periphery of the superordinate clause. A derivation along these successfully explains the left-right asymmetry mentioned earlier. LEF2 on the other hand is argued to be a type of non-contrastive focalization (chapter 6), which can occur in initial and final ACs alike. Chapter 7 focuses on the diachronic evolution of LEF2. The observed decline of this phenomenon is related to a change that took place in the same period, viz. the decreasing frequence of INFL-final clauses.
Keywords
word order, cartography, syntax, Latin, historical linguistics

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Please use this url to cite or link to this publication:

Chicago
Danckaert, Lieven. 2011. “On the Left Periphery of Latin Embedded Clauses”. Ghent, Belgium: Ghent University. Faculty of Arts and Philosophy.
APA
Danckaert, L. (2011). On the left periphery of Latin embedded clauses. Ghent University. Faculty of Arts and Philosophy, Ghent, Belgium.
Vancouver
1.
Danckaert L. On the left periphery of Latin embedded clauses. [Ghent, Belgium]: Ghent University. Faculty of Arts and Philosophy; 2011.
MLA
Danckaert, Lieven. “On the Left Periphery of Latin Embedded Clauses.” 2011 : n. pag. Print.
@phdthesis{1908358,
  abstract     = {The main topic of the present thesis is word order in Latin embedded clauses. More specifically, it deals with a specific surface order in which one ore more constituents are found in the left periphery of the embedded clause, to the left of a subordinating conjunction. This particular pattern is referred to as 'Left Edge Fronting', henceforth LEF. The theoretical framework used is the so called 'cartographic' variety of generative grammar, which assumes a richly articulated (functional) structure to form the syntactic backbone of clauses and noun phrases.
The first chapter provides some background concerning the theoretical framework one the one hand and the 'discourse configurational' nature of Latin on the other hand. Chapter 2 focuses on the syntax of the particular subtype of embedded clauses that I investigate, namely adverbial clauses (ACs). Special attention is given to the distribution and availability of so called Main Clause Phenomena in ACs. 
Chapter 3 gives an overview of the results of a large-scale corpus study on word order in ACs, in which texts from 180 BC to 120 AD were taken into account. These results reveal a quantitative left-right asymmetry: it is shown that LEF occurs most frequently in clause-initial ACs. Moreover, relative and demonstrative pronouns are exclusively found in an LEF-position in clause-initial ACs. These two observations give rise to a distinction between two types of LEF: pronoun fronting in initial ACs (LEF1) and XP-fronting in both initial and final ACs (LEF2).
The syntax of LEF1 is analyzed in chapters 4 (on relative pronouns) and 5 (on demonstratives): the phenonenon is characterized as a type of topicalization, which is derived in two steps. First, the pronoun undergoes 'internal movement' to the edge of the embedded clause. This step is followed by an operation of clausal pied-piping, targeting the left periphery of the superordinate clause. A derivation along these successfully explains the left-right asymmetry mentioned earlier.
LEF2 on the other hand is argued to be a type of non-contrastive focalization (chapter 6), which can occur in initial and final ACs alike. Chapter 7 focuses on the diachronic evolution of LEF2. The observed decline of this phenomenon is related to a change that took place in the same period, viz. the decreasing frequence of INFL-final clauses.},
  author       = {Danckaert, Lieven},
  isbn         = {9879070830197},
  keyword      = {word order,cartography,syntax,Latin,historical linguistics},
  language     = {eng},
  pages        = {XVII, 387},
  publisher    = {Ghent University. Faculty of Arts and Philosophy},
  school       = {Ghent University},
  title        = {On the left periphery of Latin embedded clauses},
  year         = {2011},
}