Tallerman (1997)

De Arbres
  • Tallerman, M. 1997. ‘Infinitival clauses in Breton.’, Canadian Journal of Linguistics, Special issue: Topics in Celtic Syntax, 205-233.

 "This article proposes an account of Breton infinitival clauses within 
 a generative framework, utilizing the "split-Infl" analysis found in 
 much recent work in the Principle and Parameters model, for instance in 
 the Minimalist Program as outlined by Chomsky (1993), Chomsky and Lasnik 
 The goal of the article is to develop an analysis which accounts for the 
 availability of lexical subjects in infinitival clauses, and for the 
 position and role of the various functional morphemes occuring in such 
 Breton, like other Celtic languages, has both infinitival clauses with 
 lexical subjects and infinitival clauses which are superficially 
 subjectless. Whilst in finite clauses overt subjects are of course 
 expected, their appearance in infinitival clauses is less common cross-
 linguistically. In the Prinicple and Parameters model, all lexical noun 
 phrases must be licensed by having abstract Case. The availability of 
 lexical subjects in finite clauses essentially follows from the fact that 
 they co-occur with a finite verb: the Case licensing of subjects is then 
 associated with finiteness. Since infinitival clauses have no finite verb, 
 their lexical subjects are typically Case-licensed in some other manner. 
 However, in this article I will argue that the obvert subjects of Breton 
 infinitival clauses are generally licensed in the same way as the subject 
 of finite clauses. What makes this possible is that in Breton both finite 
 and infinitival clauses exhibit subject agreement, and it is this property 
 which is crucially involved in the Case-licensing of their subjects.
 The article is organized as follows. Section 2 examines in detail the main 
 previous analysis of Breton infinitival clauses in a generative framework, 
 that of Hendrick (1988). Various problems with this analysis are 
 discussed, utiliszing some arguments from Stephens (1990). Clauses 
 containing da form a major part of the data adduced by both authors.
 Both analyses treat da as a prepostional complementizer, but their views 
 on its role in infinitival clauses differ; an important issue is whether da 
 is a Case assigner or not. 
 Section 3 proposes an alternative analysis of Breton in which a single I° node 
 is replaced by separate functional projections of T° and AgrS; I argue that the 
 pre-subject da heads AgrS, and thus bears agreement, whist pre-verbal da 
 is an infinitival marker in T°. Section 4 is the conclusion."