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The Case of special qui

Lookup NU author(s): Professor Ian MacKenzie



This is the authors' accepted manuscript of an article that has been published in its final definitive form by Cambridge University Press, 2018.

For re-use rights please refer to the publisher's terms and conditions.


Feature Inheritance (Richards 2007) entails that uninterpretable features originate on the phase head C or v* and are then transferred to the associated Agree head, T or V. In the present paper, it is argued that the French ‘que’–‘qui’ alternation is the locus of a Case contrast, implying that nominative Case originates on the complementizer and only becomes associated with T as a consequence of feature transfer. ‘Que’–‘qui’ thus provides new, Case-based empirical support for the theory of Feature Inheritance. The article also suggests that the ‘que’–‘qui’ alternation has an important implication for Chomsky’s recent application of dynamic antisymmetry, reinterpreted in terms of labelling, to the issue of subject extraction failure. Specifically, the alternation appears to indicate that Case-matching is required, in addition to phi-feature agreement, in order for extraction to be blocked by labelling.

Publication metadata

Author(s): Mackenzie I

Publication type: Article

Publication status: Published

Journal: Journal of French Language Studies

Year: 2018

Volume: 28

Issue: 1

Pages: 21-41

Print publication date: 01/03/2018

Online publication date: 13/03/2017

Acceptance date: 03/01/2017

Date deposited: 17/01/2017

ISSN (print): 0959-2695

ISSN (electronic): 1474-0079

Publisher: Cambridge University Press


DOI: 10.1017/S0959269517000035


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