Modal particles in Albanian subjunctive, infinitive and supine constructions: presence vs absence of clitic climbing

Giuseppina Turano


It is a well-known fact that the infinite/subjunctive substitution, attested in Balkan languages, correlates with possibility/impossibility of clitic climbing. Modal particles, which precede subjunctive verbs, have been taken as minimality blockers for clitic movement. Focussing on standard Albanian and Albanian dialects, I will show that the possibility/impossibility of clitic climbing cannot be attributed to the absence/presence of modal particles, since, on the one hand, it is possible to find raising of the clitic in contexts with modal particles, i.e. clitic climbing out of infinitival clauses characterized by the presence of two blocking heads (a preposition and a modal particle) and from supine constructions (preceded by a nominal particle), whereas, on the other hand, clitic climbing is impossible in contexts without modal particles. It seems that, at least in Albanian, the distribution of clitics does not depend on the presence or absence of modal particles, but it is related to the presence or absence of the functional category T. I will assume that clitic movement is the result of two operations: movement to the T head and morphological incorporation (m-merger in Matushansky’s (2006) sense).


Albanian; Clitics; Clitic Climbing; Modal Particles

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