Italian and Arbëresh (Albanian) causatives

Case and Agree


  • Anna Roussou University of Patras
  • Rita Manzini 0000-0002-5288-4210


Causative verbs in the Albanian variety of Arbëresh take a finite complement clause, with the causee realized as a nominative or as an oblique (like the dative/instrumental causee in Italian). We argue that causatives are biclausal and that their complement is non-phasal, of different sizes (e.g., vP in Italian and IP/CP in Arbëresh). Being non-phasal, it is transparent to φ-Agree with the matrix v*. The non-phasal vP-complement in Italian triggers an ergative alignment, with the causee realized as an oblique in transitives (or accusative with intransitives/unaccusatives). This option is also available in Arbëresh under contact with Italian, although with a finite complement. The option of a nominative causee in Arbëresh is directly accounted for as φ-Agree with the embedded I. Standard Albanian (and Greek) have an accusative causee, as in English. Given that the embedded I is finite in Albanian, φ-Agree with matrix v* is an instance of hyper-raising. We argue that this option is linked to the null-subject property of Albanian. Finite I is ‘strong enough’ to label by itself (Chomsky 2015), freeing the DP to enter Agree with a higher φ-probe.


Agree, ergative alignment, Form Copy, hyper-raising, phase


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