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Une Assignation de Cas Assez Exceptionnelle

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The goal of this paper is to give an answer to the following questions concerning the French de-existential construction as illustrated in (1): il y a une place de libre (often described as a 'gallicisme'): i) does the existential predicate govern a small clause (SC) of the form NP-de-AP? ii) which is the assigner of a 0-role to the NP: the AP within the construction or the existential predicate? iii) what Case-assigner licenses that NP? iv) what is the precise categorial status of the item de, and its precise role in the configuration?
Our answer to those questions will be that: i) the NP-de AP string in (1) is an SC constituant functionning as an internal argument of the (inaccusative) existential predicate; ii) the AP is the 0-role assigner of the embedded NP; iii) the Case-assigner of that NP is de, which appears to be a (partitiive) quantifier; therefore de, and not the matrix predicate, is the Case licenser of the NP. De is the functional head of the SC, which has to be categorized as a QP. It is shown that the Case assignated by de to the Spec of the SC is Partitive, so that the 'gallicisme' supports a unification of the status of the SC subject and of the internal argument NP in the French existential construction.
Other de-AP-constructions are then analysed as sharing basic licensing properties with (1).
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Document Type: Research Article

Publication date: 1994-01-01

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