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Cecilia Poletto University of Frankfurt

Counterarguments to the cartographic approach

1. Introduction

The CA faces a number of problems with respect to the empirical and theoretical side. We consider here three “families” of problems arising from the approach and discuss some examples of each.

First Problem: duplication of structure.

If phases are built in a parallel way, then we find cases where it is virtually impossible to decide whether the high phase or the low phase is at work in a given phenomenon. (see FocusP)

Moreover, some projections seem to be located at different heights in the clausal structural tree (see NegP) even within the same phase. On the assumption that the structural skeleton is invariant and part of UG, this is a serious theoretical handicap.

The CA should not allow for recursion of exactly the same projection. If this turns out to be the case, again we have a serious theoretical problem.

Second Problem: pinning down the exact value of a projection.

Very often duplication is not exactly what it looks like, there are similar, though not identical semantic values that are projected on distinct FPs and have to be

distinguished. But then, some values never co-occur with others. (see various AspPs).

A more theoretical side of the issue is whether all languages have the same structure or only a subset of it. One could hypothesize that FPs are similar to phonemes: no language realizes all possible phonemes, only a subset of them, and often in a coherent way, for instance the opposition [+/- voiced] is often systematic inside a phonological system. Maybe the syntactic system is built in the same way (but see then the problem concerning parallel phases). Inside the CA there is no consensus on this problem.

The approach has to be taken in its strongest form, in order to see where it leads us (see Cinque (1999) (and subsequent work)): the structure is always present in the same form and each projection has just one feature specified for the positive. Rizzi (1997) proposes that some “peripheral” position can be activated or not (i.e. Topic and Focus) Giorgi and Pianesi (1997) propose that there is a universal set of ordered features, and scattering or squeezing of the features is allowed.

Third problem: some cases of broken transitivity.

As van Cranenbroek (2011) notices, there are various cases of apparently broken transitivity concerning the complementizer, and Cinque himself discusses various examples (see first handout). The solution to the problem is that there are ambiguous lexical items that can correspond to the value of more than one projection, and also move from one projection to the other. However, this is a rather


strong weakening of the proposal and should be supported by independent arguments.

The three problems are intertwined and have to do with the exact semantic value of FPs and with their morphological realization. They all need to be investigated and hopefully solved.

2.1 Left Peripheries: swinging between the CP and the vP phase

A. Ten years ago Benincà and Poletto proposed the following structure of the CP left periphery


[ HT [ SceneSett .

[ Leftdisl . [ ListP [ [ CONTR. CP1 adv/obj, [ CONTR.CP2 circ.adv. [ INFORM. CP ]]]








With respect to Rizzi (1997) there are the following differences:

a) no Topic position lower than Focus in accordance with what has been concluded for other


b) an additional frame field, containing HT and Scene setting

This hypothesis proposes homogeneous fields: the lowest one host elements moved by A‟movement of the operator type; the second elements moved by a different sort of movement (not triggering weak crossover and requiring a clitic, at least in some cases); the elements hosted in the highest field probably are not moved at all but merged directly.

B. Ideas we just outlined but could not prove in the article:

No Topic recursion but various Topic fields, each with a distinct pragmatic function

What is exactly the internal ordering of Focus projections

There could exist various types of HTs (not only one) including some PPs

From the picture we had at that time, what remained to be done was to investigate the three fields to determine the precise nature of each projection inside each field. In the meantime various other discoveries have changed the picture, which looks now much more complex than before:

The low left periphery

Doubling of projections across phases

The hypothesis is that phases are all built in a parallel fashion . Hence, if the CP phase has a left periphery, there must be a similar layer at the border of the vP phase (and probably of each phase, including the DP). This hypothesis seems at first sight very attractive and explains a number of phenomena:



Postverbal subjects of transitive verbs which are focussed in modern Italian (see Belletti





L‟ha mangiato GIANNI It has eaten Gianni


E‟ arrivato Gianni is arrived Gianni


There is a difference between focussed postverbal subjects and subjects of inaccusative verbs:

focussed subjects are indeed located in a low FocusP on top of the vP



OV orders in Old Italian






avessero già


passo pigliato


the enemies

had.subj.3pl already the pace



(BG, Or., p. 88, r. 15)



Ed essendo dell' unico guernimento già ispogliato, (Bono Giamboni, Orosio, p. 411,

r. 1)


being of the only ornament already stripped



dice che poi

àe molto de ben fatto in guerra et in pace.


says that then has a lot of good done in war

and in peace


(BL, Rett., p. 26, r. 22)


il quale da che ebbe tutto Egitto vintowhom since had.3sg all Egypt won…


(BG, Or., p. 83, r. 15)


Poi lo fece fuori trarre (Novellino, p. 158, rr. 6-7) that (he) him made outside take

This positions before the past participle have the same properties as those of the CP left periphery:

The position is unconstrained, it can host any type of XP

You can have more than one

There is no apparent relative order among the constituents



ed ha'mi la cosa molte volte ridetta (Bono Giamboni, Trattato, p.131) and has the thing many times retold


E quand' ebbi cosí chiaramente a ogni cosa risposto (Bono Giamboni, Vizi e Virtudi,

p. 37, r. 24)

and when had so clearly to everything answered



Some cases of reordering inside the DP in Old and Modern Italian:





di gentile

aspetto molto



of kind appearance



(Dante, Vita Nuova, cap. 8, par. 1, v. 11)



Sì come quando ordino di ritrarre dell‟antiche scritte le cose che

(Brun. Latini Rett.

P 11 r.18)

So as when (I) order to draw of the ancient writings the things that



la quale guardava al figliuolo piccolo del morto fratello, (Bono Giamboni, Orosio, p.

148, r. 7)

whom looked at the young child of the dead brother

Assuming remnant movement, there is now a competition between the two layers, which leads to redundancy: when you have a sentence-final Focus, is the projection involved the low one in vP or the high one in CP? In both cases we have to assume remnant movement, either of the VP or of the IP. In some cases, it is difficult to find empirical evidence in favour of one of the two hypotheses. This means there is a redundancy: our theory is too powerful because it allows for parallel phases and at the same time unconstrained remnant movements (of IP and VP).

How parallel are phases?


Quantifiers have a dedicated position in the low left periphery, is there a dedicated position also in the CP left periphery?

Old Italian:



e come l'à tutto perduto. Fiore di rett


Ànne tutto paghato, cinque lb., per l' anno Doc. fior., 1 (p.395)


cui si vuol ben tutto dare, Monte Andrea

No cases of bare tutto after the past participle. However, tutto modifying a DP can be found before or after the past participle



era servito di tutto cioe che a llui abisongnava. Tristano Ric


ond'io òe perduto tutto lo mio onore Tristano Ric


à(n)no ve(n)duto tutto i· loro podere,





è appellato causa tutto 'l processo dell' una e dell' altra Brunetto Latini (p. 82)


àe insegnato per tutto il libro insine a questo luogo Brunetto Latini (p. 140)



oi ch'egli ebbe tutto questo fatto, e molte altre cose, Tesoro vo


Ched i' vo tutto 'l mondo og[g]i truffando, Fiore, XIII (p.196)



abiendo tutto il mal d'Amor tenente, Monte Andrea


che mi teneano tutto il capo gravato. Bono Giamboni

Conclusion: bare tutto has a special position in the low left periphery. Is there anything comparable in the CP layer?

Is there any evidence that quantifiers behave differently from DP?

Distribution of subject quantifiers with respect to DP:


Non ha lavato i piatti nessuno Nessun‟a nchiarat i piatt:. Nobody has washed the dishes



Non so dove la mamma abbia comprato i fiori. Unnù sacciu duv ar accattat i ɟur a mamma. I do not know where mum bought the flowers

It seems that the order VOS is possible only if the subject is a DP, while if it is a quantifier, it has to raise.

Another example: wh in situ



Alo fat che?



Has-he done what?



Ngo fet na ngont? Where do-you fo where?

How is this to be analyzed? As having the wh-item in the low Focus position with remnant vP movement to IP or as having the wh-item in the CP Focus position with remnant IP movement to CP?


Further cases of the same type:


Ci vado SI There go YES „I will surely go there‟


SI che ci vado Yes that there go

Hypothesis: the two structures are connected in the following way:


NO che non ci sono andato! NO that not there am gone


[ CPFocus NO [ FinP [ Fin° che …[ IP non ci sono andato]]]


Non ci sono andato NO! Not there am gone NO


[ SpecGroundP [ IP non ci sono andato] [ Ground° [ CPFocus NO] [ FinP [ IP non ci sono andato]]] [ Fin° [ IP

non ci sono andato]]]

Alternative possibility: the sentence final Focus marker is in the vP-Focus position, while the sentence initial one is in the CP-Focus position:


[ CPFocus

[ FinP [ Fin° (che)…[ IP non ci sono andato [ vP [Focus NO]


There are arguments which show that the first hypothesis is correct:

The focus marker is indeed sentence final: only right dislocated items can occur after it


Non ci sono andato NO, al cinema


Not there am gone NOT, to the cinema „I really did not go to the cinema‟ *Non ci sono andato NO, da nessuna parte Not there am gone NOT, to no place „I really did not go anywhere‟ *Non mi ha detto NO su Not me has told NO off „He did not tell me off‟

Wh-items are usually analyzed to be located in the CP-Focus field: sentence final Focus is incompatible with wh-items


*Dove non sei andato NO?


Where not are gone NO? „Where didn‟t you go?‟ *Il ragazzo che non ha telefonato NO, è Gianni The boy that not has phoned NO, is John „The boy I did not phone is John‟


Still: one might assume that you can only have one Focus per sentence.

Assuming parallel structures for phases has created a tension in the theory: in some cases both left peripheries are required, in others they just seem redundant

Further research: are the two left peripheries really identical? And what about the left periphery of the DP? (see Giusti (2006), (2008), (2010))

2.2 Negation everywhere

Zanuttini (1997) notes that in Romance varieties there are at least four distinct positions for negative markers and provides the following structure (see handout on doubling):

(23) [NegP1 non [TP1 [NegP2 mia [ TP2 no]]]]]]]]


nen [ AspperfP. [Asp gen/progrP. [NegP4

Given that the arguments for providing evidence in favour of the four NegPs exploit the cartographic perspective, it is rather difficult to avoid or circumvent the problems that the same projection seems to occur in different positions in the structural tree. If we extend the picture a little further, there is evidence of NegP inside the CP layer, and one might ask whether NegP can in principle attach to any FP or only to a subset of FPs, and in this case what is the property these FPs have in common.

The problem is again left open.

3. Pinning down the exact value of a projection

3.1 Modality

Work done by Ledgeway (1998), Damonte (2008) shows that many Southern Italian dialects have two complementizers, one of the two marking some modal feature ([-realis] of some sort)


penso che verra`„I think that he will come‟ voglio che lui mangi„I want that he should eat‟


pensu ca ve`ni

vo` gghiu chi mmanciassi

North Cal

vuogliu chi mmangia


criju ca ve`ni crisciu ca ve`ne

ogghiu cu mmancia


pe`nse ca ve`ne

vo` glie che mmange

North Apulia pe`nse ca ve`ne

vo` gghie che mmange


pe`nse ca ve`ne

vojje che mmange

Salentino: Damonte (2008) (all data are quoted from this article; I thank F. Damonte for rendering them available to me)



Lu Karlu ole ku bbene krai The K. wants that comes tomorrow „K. wants to come tomorrow‟



Kriu ka addju raddjione Think that have right „I think I am right‟





Boggio chi siente trattadar bene Want that be tratead well „I want them to be treated well‟

Baunei (Sardinian)


Mamma mi nara sempre ca frade su ir bravu Mum me tells always that brother her is good „My mother always tells me that her brother is good‟






Maria vena

(S. Calabrese)


ca Maria come-3SG

me “I believe that Maria is coming”


















“I want that the devil eats you!”

Is mu/mi a complementizer or is it an IP particle?



Lu Carlu ole [ FinP cu


Vuogghiu [ FinP +mood

[ MoodP +mood

[ MoodP mu

bbene crai


lu viju


Damonte (2008) provides evidence that both exist:

Compatibility with the declarative complementiser










cu “Let her/him come tomorrow”


comes tomorrow


(Carmiano, SA)



Ole (*ca) cu





wants that cu

“He/she wants to come”



Ojju (*ca) la Maria cu



want that

the Maria



“I want Maria to come”




ti pigghia




you grab


“That a stroke hits you!”


(Locri, SC)



Prima co




a porta


before ca-u

enters someone


the door

“Before someone enters, let's close the door”

(Monasterace, SC)

N.B. That the form co is to be analysed as ca-u is shown by the regular phonologically change a + u > o, found elsewhere in the dialect.

Compatibility with wh-items



Me chiedu





me ask




“I wonder what I have to do”


(Carmiano, SA)



Me chiedu (*cu) ce (*cu) aggiu ffare




Non sacciu chimmu



not know what-mu say



“I do not know what to say”


sacciu aundi


ccattu stu libbru

(Locri, SC)


not know where u


this book

“I do not know where to buy this book”


Position with respect to negation




Ojju cu


bbene iddu


want cu


comes that

“I do not want that one to come”


(Carmiano, SA)



* Ojju nu cu bbene iddu




Speru nommu




hope not-mu comes that “I hope he does not come”


(Locri, SC)



*Speru mu non veni chijju


Problem: again we observe doubling of features between the CP and the IP. How extensive is this mechanism of doubling? Is this really doubling or are the two projections different in some way? Notice that this time we cannot say that this is due to the parallel construction of phases.

Moreover: we have a blurred area between CP and IP: the limits between the two domains are not clear. Although we use a cartographic approach, we continue to consider CP and IP as two “domains”. Notice that this has no real theoretical status in the CA, so is this split into core, left and right periphery justified?

Common implicit assumption: the limit between IP and CP is provided by the complementizer. But then: what is a complementizer?

3.2 What is Force?

Rizzi (1997) proposes that Force is the projection providing “sentence type. Is this really so? There is no real empirical evidence, at least in Romance. Sentential Particles (SPs) encode features which are only partially related to sentence typing, because they can occur across different sentence types (though crucially not all):


Ci fezel

mo zegn?


what does-SCL mo now “What could he be doing?/I wonder what he‟s doing.”


Faal mo duman. do-it mo tomorrow "Do it tomorrow!"


Although they are located after the verb, there are reasons to believe that SPs are located in the left periphery of the clause:

a) They only occur in main clauses



*El me ga domandà dove

che i


ndai, ti.


he me has asked

where that they have gone, ti

“He asked me where they went.”



*No so


che el ze ndà po.



neg know where that he is gone po

“I don‟t know where he went.”

b) They express the speaker‟s attitude

An example: the particle mo is compatible with imperatives that can be seen as requesting something that benefits the speaker:



Suparsciam mo ciamo‟ la ciamasa! (San Leonardo) iron mo now the shirt “Iron my shirt now!”


Arzignem mo ca l



prepare-me mo here the bath “Get the bath ready for me!”



Faal mo k i l adoor! do-it mo that it use “Do it, so that I can use it.”

It is incompatible with imperatives that can be seen as requesting something that benefits the addressee:



*Fa:l mo, s t os. (San Leonardo) do-it mo, if you want “Do it, if you want.”


*Fa:l mo k al e na bona



do-it mo that it is a good idea “Do it, it‟s a good idea.”



*Mandjeel mo, S no vaal frait



mo, if neg goes cold

“Eat (2 nd pl) it, or else it‟ll get cold.”



*Tet mo n dé d‟vacanza. take mo a day of-vacation “Take a day off.”


*Mangetles mo duetes.


mo both

“Feel free to eat them both.”

c) It is sensitive to sentence type being compatible with only some sentences types but not all

(40) * El vien ti/mo. he comes ti/mo “He‟s coming.”


Particles in non V2 dialects typically occur in sentence final position:

(41) Vien qua mo! come here mo



“Come here right away!” (42) Dove zelo ndà, ti? where is-SCLe gone ti “Where did he go?”


(43) Quando eli

rivadi, po?



are-SCL arrived po

“When did they arrive?”

(44) L'é meio, lu! SCL-is better lu “Isn‟t that better!”


Hypothesis: if particles are related to the speaker, there must be a speaker operator realized in the CP binding the particle. Cf. Sigurdsson (2007)

Therefore: maybe Zanuttini and Portner (2002) are right in saying that sentence typing is compositional and derives from the activation of various projections, one of which is the SpeakerP.

General problem: how much of the pragmatic properties of these items do we encode in the syntax?

4. Transitivity

4.1 The case of the complementizer ‘che’

Van Craenenbroek (2009) argument against the CA concerns transitivity. The typical procedure to derive the order of several FPs in the CA is based on the transitive property: if A precedes B and B precedes C then A must precede C. Van Craenenbroek shows that this leads to a contradiction:



Me domando chi che Nane ga visto al marcà. me I.ask who that Nane has seen at.the market „I wonder who Nane saw at the market.‟ (Venetian)



* Me domando che chi Nane ga visto al marcà. me I.ask that who Nane has seen at.the market



Me dispiase che a Marco i ghe abia ditto cussi. me is.sorry that to Marco they to.him have.SUBJ told so „I am sorry that they said so to Marco.‟ (Venetian)



* Me dispiase a Marco che i ghe abia ditto cussi. me is.sorry to Marco that they to.him have.subj told so



* Me domando a chi el premio Nobel che i ghe lo podarla dar.


me I.ask to who the prize Nobel that they to.him it should give



* Me domando a chi che el premio Nobel i ghe lo podarla dar. me I.ask to who that the prize Nobel they to.him it should give INTENDED: „I wonder to whom they should give the Nobel Prize.‟ (Venetian)



Me domando el premio Nobel a chi che i ghe lo podarla dar. me I.ask the prize Nobel to who that they to.him it should give „I wonder to whom they should give the Nobel Prize.‟ (Venetian)

Are there really two positions for the complementizer?

Paoli (2003)

(52) A chërdo che, col lìber, ch‟ a l‟ abia già lesulo SCL believe.3p that that book that SCL it have.S.3s already „They believe that s/he has already read that book‟ (Turinese)

If there are two complementizer positions why are they not always realized? Van Craenenbroek notices that

a) the structure with two complementizers vastly overgenerates

b) no correlation is found between those dialects that admit complementizer doubling and those that

show the pattern above (examples from Venetian)

c) no morphological distinction is found between the two complementizers (this is only possible in

Southern Italian dialects, not in Northern Italian dialects, a quite different group from the point of

view of the syntactic features).

d) structures like (52) are related to subjunctive in Turinese and Ligurian. However, they are not in

Old Italian:

(53) E tanto savio, bello e largo portamento de ciascuno facea, che1 tanti d'onne parti cavalieri And so wise, nice and big posture of anyone did, that so many from any place knights trassero a lui, che per lo gran senno e valore suo e larghezza, e per la bona cavalleria che lui went to him, that for the great wisdom and value his and nobelty and for the good chevalry that he

seguia, che2 ventinove reami se sottomise.

(Conti 552) (tosc., 13e s.)

followed, that twenty-nine kingdoms submitted

There are several cases of double complementizers in Romance, which shows that there are indeed two positions (see first handout):


Et comment que oui qu‟à Jean, on va lui envoyer de l‟argent! (Authier 2010)


and how that yes that-to Jean we will to-him to-send some the-money Però en aquesta mena d‟aldarulls crec que que calen més policiesbut in this sort of disturbances believe that yes that need more police

'But in this kind of public disturbances I believe that more police is needed


(Battlori & Hernanz (2011))


However, the problem pointed out by van Craenenbroek remains: we still have to explain the distribution of one or two che across varieties and structures.

5. Conclusion: Limits to carthography

Are all phenomena to be treated by the mechanism of projection-splitting? We should refrain from using the number of FPs as a “waste paper basket”

A. The relation between the left periphery the CP and the left periphery of other phases is less than clear

B. However, some similarities among phases are being observed: maybe phases are all built in the same way

C. The mechanism of remnant movement coped with the CA is too strong, we should constrain it

D. How many features do we find in the CP that have already been encoded in the IP?