Accessible Requires Authentication Published by De Gruyter Mouton September 2, 2014

Clitic metathesis in the Friulian dialect of Forni di Sotto

Andrea Calabrese and Diego Pescarini
From the journal Probus


In this article we entertain the hypothesis that cliticization involves a rule of m-merge, which brackets a functional head with another constituent under linear adjacency to build a structure legible at the PF interface.

We therefore argue for a division of labour between syntax and morphology in the spirit of Halle and Marantz (1993), although we depart from their model in rejecting a single post-syntactic Morphological Component, and instead assume that syntactic derivation and morphological operations such as m-merge are cyclically interleaved.

In the first part of the article, we focus on the behaviour of clitics in contexts of V-to-C movement. As object clitics and negation are pied-piped by the verb to C, crossing the position of subject clitics, we argue that subject clitics are m-merged after V-to-C movement.

The second part of the article deals with some puzzling permutations affecting the order of clitic elements. In particular, we focus on the Friulian dialect of Forni di Sotto (Manzini & Savoia 2005, 2009) to show that such permutations are due to morphological rules of fission and metathesis operating after m-merge. We therefore claim that the Forni pattern provides further evidence for syntactically void operations taking place at the Syntax/PF interface.

Published Online: 2014-9-2
Published in Print: 2014-9-1

©2014 by Walter de Gruyter Berlin/Boston