Clitic climbing and the dual status of sembrare

Abstract : For some speakers of Italian (reported in Cinque 2004) Italian sembrare ('seem') has dual status. On the one hand, it is a lexical verb, with an EXPERIENCER argument, on the other it behaves as a 'restructuring verb'. In the latter case sembrare is incompatible with an EXPERIENCER argument and it allows clitic climbing. This paper identifies a number of contexts in which clitic climbing is not possible with sembrare and offers an account in terms of Cinque's proposals for the functional hierarchy of the clause. The paper also examines sembler, the French cognate of sembrare, and argues, contra Cinque 2002, that it behaves like a lexical verb. Finally, it is shown that two instantiations of Italian sembrare correspond to two verbs in Dutch: schijnen and lijken.
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Submitted on : Tuesday, February 6, 2007 - 4:51:20 PM
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Liliane Haegeman. Clitic climbing and the dual status of sembrare. Linguistic Inquiry, Massachusetts Institute of Technology Press (MIT Press), 2006, 37 (3), pp.484-501. ⟨10.1162/ling.2006.37.3.484⟩. ⟨halshs-00129341⟩

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