Scientific article
Open access

Hebrew as a partial null-subject language

ContributorsShlonsky, Urorcid
Published inStudia linguistica, vol. 63, no. 1, p. 133-157
Publication date2009

To account for the tense-wise and person-wise uneven distribution of null subjects in Hebrew, we argue first that Hebrew finite T can have either a full phi set – with person and number, a partial one – with number only or no phi set at all. Second, Hebrew pro is argued to lack a person feature. Feature matching with T consequently fails when T has [person], but succeeds when T lacks [person], albeit with the subject interpreted impersonally. Third, ‘control' of pro involves the assignment of a person feature to pro, rendering it capable of reference. Fourth, the fact that Hebrew pro can only be first or second person is an illusion: The speech act participants are associated with a functional head SAP0, to which the first and second person pronouns cliticize. Thus, there is no independently-referring pro at all in Hebrew.

  • Hebrew
  • Null-subject
Citation (ISO format)
SHLONSKY, Ur. Hebrew as a partial null-subject language. In: Studia linguistica, 2009, vol. 63, n° 1, p. 133–157. doi: 10.1111/j.1467-9582.2008.01156.x
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Article (Published version)
ISSN of the journal0039-3193

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