French Clitic Climbing as Periphrasis

TitreFrench Clitic Climbing as Periphrasis
Publication TypeArticle de revue
Année de publication2020
AuthorsAguila-Multner, Gabrielle, and Berthold Crysmann
JournalLingvisticæ Investigationes
Mots-clésclitic climbing, flat structure, French VP, hierarchical structure, periphrasis

In this article, we propose a treatment of French clitic climbing as an instance of morphological periphrasis. In particular we reexamine the evidence in favour of argument composition and a flat VP structure with tense auxiliaries (Abeillé & Godard, 2002) and show (i) that the V (vs. VP) status of the complement does not strictly correlate with the possibility of clitic climbing, (ii) that transparency in bounded dependencies transcends the class of argument composition verbs, and (iii) that a flat VP structure complicates the treatment of modification and coordination. Adopting an approach in terms of periphrastic realisation along the lines of Bonami (2015), we provide a treatment of the climbing facts that does full justice to the limited mobility and their morphologically bound status (Miller, 1992) without having to rely on a flat VP structure. Finally, we show that the pronominalisation and extraction facts can be dealt with in a uniform fashion by way of constraints on canonical vs. non-canonical argument realisation.