Synchronic syntax

My research on the syntax of Old Romance has prompted me to inquire into the syntax of Modern French, which differs from the core of the language family in numerous ways. It has been argued in the literature that French lacks Restructuring, or more precisely, that it has lost it. This assumption is based on the absence of Transparency Effects in the language since the 18th century, notably clitic climbing and auxiliary switch. However, my research demonstrates that Modern French does exhibit some Transparency Effects, albeit lacking the most obvious ones. Therefore, I have proposed that Restructuring may be universal, while the distribution of Transparency Effects has a parametric flavour, being language-dependent.

Having conducted research on the diachronies of French and Occitan, I am now interested in examining synchronic phenomena that lie between them. In a collaborative project with Dr Anna Paradis, I am investigating the distribution of several syntactic phenomena in the Occitano/Catalano continuum. Our project provides empirical synchronic evidence for a connection between auxiliary switch, clitic climbing, and null subjects. While the former two are linked to features available in the vP-domain, the latter interacts with the TP-domain. Formally, we demonstrate that when these two domains interact, a variety of phenomena emerge.

Latin prepositions AD and DE have grammaticalised as complementisers introducing infinitives in Romance. However, there is considerable cross-linguistic variation regarding the behaviour of such elements, which may be more or less grammaticalised in some varieties. These elements pose particular challenges in the analysis of Restructuring clauses displaying Transparency Effects, as they appear to be incompatible with the monoclausal hypothesis. In collaboration with Dr Anna Paradis, I propose that AD and DE fall on a spectrum and have a different nature/behaviour cross-linguistically: in some languages (e.g., Spanish, Catalan), they function as true complementisers, whereas in others, they have become closer to the verb (e.g., Romanian). In certain languages, however, they even attach more closely to the verb and cliticise to it (e.g., Middle French).

More recently, I started looking at binary auxiliary selection from a formal perspective.