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Epistemic Predicative Clauses and the IL/SL Distinction

A View from Romance

Nicola Munaro    Università Ca' Foscari    



In this article I explore the internal structure of predicative clauses selected by an epistemic main verb exploiting the notion of ‘predicate inversion’ and the distinction between Individual Level and Stage Level predicates. On the basis of evidence from Romance, I argue that epistemic predicative clauses are made up by at least three different layers of structure: the predicative link between subject and predicate can be expressed either in lowest head P°, which can be lexicalized as a prepositional element, or in the higher heads V° and T°, which can be lexicalized as infinitival copulas. The attested restrictions on the relative order of subject, copular verb and predicate inside the copular clause complement in Italian are accounted for by postulating with SL predicates the need for the copula to raise to the head T° in order to license an abstract spatio-temporal topic which contextualizes the property denoted by the predicate.

28 Settembre 2017
28 Marzo 2017
13 Marzo 2017

Keywords: Predicate inversionEpistemic verbCopular clauseStage level predicateIndividual level predicate

Copyright: © 2017 Nicola Munaro. This is an open-access work distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License (CC BY). The use, distribution or reproduction is permitted, provided that the original author(s) and the copyright owner(s) are credited and that the original publication is cited, in accordance with accepted academic practice. The license allows for commercial use. No use, distribution or reproduction is permitted which does not comply with these terms.