Clitic placement and verb movement in European Portuguese

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Barrie, Michael
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Clitics in Romance languages have been the subject of much discussion for well over three decades now. Uniform analyses have been presented to account for clitic placement in most Romance languages; however, cross-linguistic accounts typically ignore European Portuguese (EP). Clitic placement in EP differs significantly from other Romance languages. Specifically, EP typically exhibits enclitics whereas in other Romance languages proclitics are found. Environments which trigger proclisis in EP have no effect on clitic placement in other Romance languages. EP also exhibits an apparent endoclitic structure in future and conditional forms, in which the clitic is found to the right of the verb stem and tense morpheme, but to the left of subject agreement. I posit a strong feature [+lexical] in the set of formal features of C. This feature triggers overt movement of the verb to C when no other lexical item is available to check this feature. Furthermore, I argue that EP possesses the following clause structure:TopP > CP > AdvsP > NegP > IP > uP > VP. I argue that the presence of the strong feature [+lexical] and the given clause structure account for the heterogenous set of environments which trigger different directions of clisis in EP.