[Relative clauses] Giuseppe Rugna (U. di Firenze)
Giuseppe Rugna (U. Florence)
The finiteness and case restrictions of Italian relative che
This paper addresses the restrictions of Italian relative che ‘what’ to finite environments and direct case gaps. While the standard analysis takes these restrictions to follow from the complementizer status of che, this paper argues for an alternative approach, according to which che is a DP, on a par with other interrogative and relative elements. Specifically, it is argued that relative che is identical to interrogative che and relative cui ‘what.obl’ in the narrow syntactic derivation, up to the point of transfer. Realization of relative che is then blocked at ext with oblique case gaps by the more specific cui, along the lines of the Elsewhere Principle. The status of cui as a specialized relative element is also discussed. The restriction to finiteness for relative che is treated as an instance of a more general phenomenon that precludes bare DPs from occurring at the edge of infinitival relatives. Here I adopt and extend Richards’ (2010) Distinctness Theory to account for the facts of Italian.