n this paper I discuss certain aspects of its syntax for which a linguistic analysis proves particularly fruitful. First, I argue that the text shows some syntactic phenomena typical of the novelists' free indirect style (Banfield 1982), and in particular, some phenomena belonging in the domain of logophoricity. Secondly, I show that Beckett reduces to the minimum the number of finite predicates and uses unembedded nonfinite predicates, which are interpreted by means of logophoric control. Finally, the most peculiar aspect of the syntax of Rockaby is the omission of pronominal subjects with finite verbs. This phenomenon is not found in the ordinary use of language, but only in the "abbreviated" written register of diaries (Haegeman 1990). It is shown that the distribution of overt and omitted subjects in Beckett's text is syntactically conditioned: the omitted subjects are limited to the most prominent position of root clauses; more importantly, all the overt subjects except for one impersonal subject are found in syntactic environments where subject omission is impossible, namely, in clauses introduced by a subordinating conjunction or a wh-word (cf. Haegeman 1990, Rizzi 2000). The linguistic analysis thus shows that Beckett avoids overt subjects as much as is syntactically possible. In the final section, an interpretation of these facts is proposed on the grounds of the linguistic theory of logophoricity.

Bianchi, V. (2006). Subjectless language: syntactic aspects of S. Beckett's "Rockaby". RGG. RIVISTA DI GRAMMATICA GENERATIVA, 31, 3-17.

Subjectless language: syntactic aspects of S. Beckett's "Rockaby"

BIANCHI, VALENTINA
2006

Abstract

n this paper I discuss certain aspects of its syntax for which a linguistic analysis proves particularly fruitful. First, I argue that the text shows some syntactic phenomena typical of the novelists' free indirect style (Banfield 1982), and in particular, some phenomena belonging in the domain of logophoricity. Secondly, I show that Beckett reduces to the minimum the number of finite predicates and uses unembedded nonfinite predicates, which are interpreted by means of logophoric control. Finally, the most peculiar aspect of the syntax of Rockaby is the omission of pronominal subjects with finite verbs. This phenomenon is not found in the ordinary use of language, but only in the "abbreviated" written register of diaries (Haegeman 1990). It is shown that the distribution of overt and omitted subjects in Beckett's text is syntactically conditioned: the omitted subjects are limited to the most prominent position of root clauses; more importantly, all the overt subjects except for one impersonal subject are found in syntactic environments where subject omission is impossible, namely, in clauses introduced by a subordinating conjunction or a wh-word (cf. Haegeman 1990, Rizzi 2000). The linguistic analysis thus shows that Beckett avoids overt subjects as much as is syntactically possible. In the final section, an interpretation of these facts is proposed on the grounds of the linguistic theory of logophoricity.
Bianchi, V. (2006). Subjectless language: syntactic aspects of S. Beckett's "Rockaby". RGG. RIVISTA DI GRAMMATICA GENERATIVA, 31, 3-17.
File in questo prodotto:
Non ci sono file associati a questo prodotto.

I documenti in IRIS sono protetti da copyright e tutti i diritti sono riservati, salvo diversa indicazione.

Utilizza questo identificativo per citare o creare un link a questo documento: http://hdl.handle.net/11365/22097
 Attenzione

Attenzione! I dati visualizzati non sono stati sottoposti a validazione da parte dell'ateneo