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Recomplementation in English and Spanish: Delineating the CP space

Author:

Julio Villa-García

University of Manchester, Department of Linguistics and English Language, Samuel Alexander Building, Oxford Road, Manchester, GB
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Abstract

The paper aims to provide a characterization of the colloquial phenomenon of recomplementation (i.e., that1/que1 – XP[dislocated]that2/que2 constructions) in both contemporary English and Spanish from a comparative perspective. I draw a systematic comparison between that2 and que2 and present a host of similarities in terms of the syntactic behavior and distribution of secondary complementizers in the two languages. Thus, I argue for a unified analysis of recomplementation in English and Spanish within Rizzi’s (1997 et seq.) split-CP hypothesis wherein the flanked dislocate occupies the specifier of TopicP, whose head is spelled out as that2/que2. I therefore show that the structures of the peripheries of English and Spanish are not as different as they may appear to be at first sight. I also note several asymmetries between the two languages in terms of the interaction between recomplementation patterns and other constructions, and submit that these differences can be ascribed to independent factors: they are due to lexico-semantic and syntactic differences displayed by the two languages, but not to a different underlying left-peripheral architecture. The paper also investigates the reason(s) why secondary thats/ques are lexically realized and argues for the polyvalent nature of such iterative complementizers. I further propose that one of their functions is to mark discourse. The findings reported here also have far-reaching consequences for the contentious derivation of preposed topical phrases in the syntax of English and Spanish (including adjunct clauses), as well as ramifications to other existing debates.

How to Cite: Villa-García, J. (2019). Recomplementation in English and Spanish: Delineating the CP space. Glossa: A Journal of General Linguistics, 4(1), 56. DOI: http://doi.org/10.5334/gjgl.845
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  Published on 28 May 2019
 Accepted on 21 Feb 2019            Submitted on 22 Oct 2018

1 Introduction

A highly relevant phenomenon for the ongoing debate on the structure of the CP domain is recomplementation (Higgins 1988). This pattern refers to double-complementizer constructions in which a sandwiched phrase is flanked by overt complementizers in the left periphery of a(n embedded) clause. This construction is illustrated for present-day (colloquial) English in (1).

(1) They said that because of the budget cuts, that the University won’t re-open.

The phenomenon has been studied for English by a number of authors, including Higgins (1988), Iatridou & Kroch (1992), Rizzi (1997: 330, fn. 19; 2013), McCloskey (2006), Haegeman (2012), and Radford (2013; 2018). This configuration is by no means confined to English, and is in fact attested in numerous typologically different languages. In particular, various Romance languages have been reported to exhibit recomplementation patterns, which are illustrated for Spanish in (2).

    1. (2)
    1. Dicen
    2. say
    1. que
    2. that
    1. por
    2. for
    1. culpa
    2. guilt
    1. de
    2. of
    1. los
    2. the
    1. recortes
    2. cuts
    1. presupuestarios,
    2. budgetary
    1. que
    2. that
    1. la
    2. the
    1. Universidad
    2. University
    1. no
    2. not
    1. volverá
    2. will-return
    1. a
    2. to
    1. abrir
    2. open
    1. sus
    2. its
    1. puertas.
    2. gates
    1. ‘They told me that because of the budget cuts, that the University won’t re-open.’

In Romance, several authors have concerned themselves with the phenomenon in different linguistic varieties (mainly in Asturian, Catalan, French, Iberian Spanish, European Portuguese and several Italo-Romance languages) and from both diachronic and synchronic perspectives (Escribano 1991; Campos 1992; Fontana 1993; Uriagereka 1995; Wanner 1998; Barbosa 2000; Poletto 2000; Martín-González 2002; Rodríguez-Ramalle 2003; Ledgeway 2005 et seq.; Vincent 2006; Cocchi & Poletto 2007; Mascarenhas 2007; Demonte & Fernández-Soriano 2009; 2014; Fernández-Rubiera 2009; Etxepare 2010; González i Planas 2010; 2014; Villa-García 2010; 2012; 2015; 2016; in preparation; Kempchinsky 2013; Gupton 2014; Salvesen 2014; Frank 2016; Cerrudo & Gallego 2018; Martínez Vera 2018; in press).

Although recomplementation is generally deemed a phenomenon of colloquial, spoken language in both English and Spanish, it also occurs in written language, as the following English examples from written coursework and official email communications illustrate:1

(3) a. (Student exam script, UK, June 2017)
    Chomsky argued that because of children’s uniform language development, that this must be due to some special genetic endowment.
  b. (Student paper, UK, November 2017)
    It is the theory that through speaking to children and actively moulding their development, that they acquire language.
  c. (Official university communication, UK, January 2019)
    Note that if you have already taught in Semester 1 that you are not required to resubmit paperwork to HR Services.

The sandwiched phrase housed in between thats/ques in the context of interest cannot be just any type of left-peripheral constituent; it must be a dislocated phrase, which I will also informally refer to throughout as a dislocate, a topical element or simply, a topic (see Section 2 for further discussion). Radford (2018) identifies three types of recomplementation dislocates in his corpus of broadcast English data: local prepositional or adverbial adjuncts, which modify the clause in which they are contained (31 out of 78 examples of recomplementation structures), as in (1)/(3)a,b/(4)a, local subordinate adverbial clauses (26/78), as in (3)c/(4)b, and left-dislocated (hanging-topic) constituents linked to a resumptive pronoun (7/78), as in (4)c (examples a and c come from Radford 2018).

(4) a. (Bill Gates, BBC Radio 4)
    I just wanted to say that despite all these short term problems that they needed to keep in mind the needs of the poor.
  b. (Policeman quoted in The Independent, 28 February 2017)
    Please do not think that just because you dial 999 that police will attend.
  c. (Health spokesman, BBC Radio 5)
    The most we can hope for is that those people who are blood donorsi, that theyi continue to donate blood.

In Spanish, any phrase which can be left-dislocated can occur in recomplementation environments, as shown in (5). (5)a includes a dislocated subject, (5)b involves a local adverbial adjunct, (5)c features a local adverbial clause, (5)d comprises a hanging-topic DP resumed by a pronominal within a non-dislocated prepositional phrase, (5)e contains a dislocated argumental prepositional phrase, and (5)f exemplifies a dislocated adjective. Although this list is not meant to be comprehensive, it illustrates the major types of dislocates found in double-que constructions.2

    1. (5)
    1. a.
    1. Ya
    2. already
    1. le
    2. CL.DAT
    1. dije
    2. said
    1. que
    2. that
    1. yo,
    2. I
    1. que
    2. that
    1. no
    2. not
    1. voy.
    2. go
    1. ‘I’ve already told him/her that I’m not going.’
    1.  
    1. b.
    1. Dice
    2. says
    1. que
    2. that
    1. a
    2. at
    1. pesar
    2. despite
    1. del
    2. of+the
    1. fracaso
    2. fail
    1. electoral,
    2. electoral
    1. que
    2. that
    1. nadie
    2. nobody
    1. ha
    2. has
    1. dimitido.
    2. resigned
    1. ‘S/he says that nobody resigned in spite of the electoral disaster.’
    1.  
    1. c.
    1. Me
    2. CL.DAT
    1. contó
    2. told
    1. que
    2. that
    1. aunque
    2. although
    1. no
    2. not
    1. les
    2. CL.DAT
    1. gusta
    2. pleases
    1. el
    2. the
    1. clima,
    2. weather
    1. que
    2. that
    1. no
    2. not
    1. se
    2. CL
    1. mudarán.
    2. move
    1. ‘S/he told me that they won’t move, although they don’t like the weather.’
    1.  
    1. d.
    1. Dices
    2. says
    1. que
    2. that
    1. tu
    2. your
    1. hermanai,
    2. sister
    1. que
    2. that
    1. no
    2. not
    1. se
    2. CL
    1. puede
    2. can
    1. contar
    2. count
    1. con
    2. with
    1. ellai.
    2. her
    1. ‘You say that as for your sister, it is impossible to count on her.’
    1.  
    1. e.
    1. Dijo
    2. said
    1. que
    2. that
    1. con
    2. with
    1. tu
    2. your
    1. hermana,
    2. sister
    1. que
    2. that
    1. no
    2. not
    1. se
    2. CL
    1. puede
    2. can
    1. contar.
    2. count
    1. ‘S/he said that you cannot count on your sister.’
    1.  
    1. f.
    1. Me
    2. CL.DAT
    1. contó
    2. told
    1. que
    2. that
    1. guapo,
    2. handsome
    1. que
    2. that
    1. no
    2. not
    1. era.
    2. was
    1. ‘S/he told me that he was not handsome.’

Using spontaneous data from corpora, published evidence, as well as native-speaker introspective judgments, my main claim in this paper is that recomplementation patterns in English and Spanish are quite similar, since they display analogous distribution patterns and syntactic behavior. Correspondingly, I propose that they should receive a unified account. I submit that in both languages, recomplementation targets Rizzi’s (1997 et seq.) TopicP, a projection whose specifier hosts the sandwiched constituent, and whose head is spelled out as that/que, as shown abstractly in simplified form in (6). This account has been advocated for Spanish mainly by Rodríguez-Ramalle (2003) and Villa-García (2010 et seq.). I demonstrate that the properties of English and Spanish recomplementation to be characterized below can be accounted for uniformly under the TopicP analysis of recomplementation, which provides crosslinguistic support in its favor.

(6) … [ForceP [Force' that1/que1 [TopicP dislocate [Topic' that2/que2 [FocusP [FinitenessP ]]]]]]

In addition to the syntactic distribution of flanked constituents and other left-peripheral phenomena, the paper also investigates the locality-of-movement effect observed with secondary that/que and its major consequences for the derivation of sandwiched phrases in both languages. The evidence suggests that the behavior of recomplementation dislocates demands a reassessment of the traditional set of properties of dislocations including Clitic-Left Dislocations (CLLDs). Furthermore, the derivation of sandwiched phrases has direct implications for the much-debated syntax of subjects in languages like Spanish.

I also investigate a number of superficial differences between the English recomplementation case and its Spanish equivalent in relation to the interaction of recomplementation and other phenomena, and go on to claim that such asymmetries can be attributed to independent lexico-semantic and syntactic differences between the two languages, which allows us to retain a unitary account of the phenomenon in question.

I then concentrate on the reason(s) why secondary complementizers exist, and propose that low complementizers are polyvalent elements that may fulfill various left-peripheral functions in the two languages. More specifically, I speculatively make the proposal that such elements can function as discourse markers, although they may perform various functions at once.

More generally, the paper aims to contribute to the cartographic enterprise; the goal is to provide a more accurate delineation of the CP domain in English and Spanish, taking recomplementation data as a point of departure.

The paper is organized as follows: Section 2 concerns the types of dislocates found in English and Spanish, with an emphasis on those left-peripheral constituents that can occur in recomplementation contexts; Section 3 lays out Rizzi’s (1997) proposal and the analysis to be pursued in the paper; Section 4 provides a close empirical comparison between recomplementation in English and Spanish and brings to light a variety of similarities between English recomplementation and Spanish recomplementation, related mostly to their distribution and locality, which argue in favor of the uniform analysis adopted in this paper; Section 5 considers a number of potential differences between the two languages with respect to recomplementation; Section 6 investigates the different functions associated with iterative complementizers in both languages and explores their role as markers of discourse; Section 7 concludes the paper and notes some remaining issues.

2 Types of dislocated phrases found in English and Spanish: Recomplementation dislocates

On the basis of the preceding data (and the claims made in previous works), the generalization that can be gleaned so far is that constituents that are able to be dislocated can occur in-between thats/ques in English and Spanish recomplementation patterns. As a result, a survey of the major types of dislocatable phrases in the two languages is in order. I will first focus on nominal phrases in English and then discuss prepositional phrases along with adverbial adjuncts and clauses. Afterward, I will look at the relevant structures in Spanish. In the last part of this section, I show that focused constituents are not eligible for the pre-secondary-that/que position.

2.1 English

In English, ever since the seminal work of Ross (1967) came out, two types of topic preposing mechanisms have been identified in the literature: the left-dislocation (or hanging-topic) construction and the topicalization construction.3 The phenomenon of left-dislocation is illustrated in (7).

(7) Ross (1967: 424)
  I said that my fatheri, hei was tight as a hoot owl.

The example in (7), which happens to be an instance of embedded left-dislocation, comprises a preposed DP constituent, my father. This is followed by a prosodic boundary (customarily represented in writing by a comma) and is resumed by a (strong) subject pronoun in the subordinate clause (he). Note that the real subject of the embedded clause is actually he, coreferential with the dislocate my father. This pattern has been dubbed the Strong Pronoun Left Dislocation construction (e.g., Casielles-Suárez 2004) or the Hanging Topic Left Dislocation (HTLD) construction (e.g., López 2009), a term that I will adopt in what follows. As we will see, an important property of HTLDs is that they are base-generated in their superficial position, and their actual connection with the clause where they are interpreted is effected via the resumptive element, so for instance, they are impervious to locality-of-movement constraints (Radford 2018: Ch. 2). Moreover, hanging topics display default case, which in English is accusative. This is shown by the following example, where the dislocated pronominal is accusative, despite its obligatory association with the (nominative) subject of the embedded clause.

(8) Himi, I don’t really think that guyi likes me.

(8) unveils another property of the HTLD construction that sets it apart from its topicalized counterpart, a construction to which I turn immediately: the possibility of having an epithet (that guy) in the position that the dislocate would occupy in an SVO sentence.4

The second preposing mechanism identified in the literature is the topicalization construction, exemplified in (9).

(9) Chomsky (1977: 93)
  I believe that this book, you should read ___.

In (9), the boldfaced object this book appears in a left-peripheral position above the subject. Its canonical position as the object of the verb is not filled overtly, contrary to what happens in (7); there is a gap (___) in the position that would be filled by this book in the non-preposed version (I believe that you should read this book). Although an intonational break is possible in (9), it is not as common as with left-dislocations/HTLDs. Since constituents like this book in (9) lack a(n obvious) resumptive element and instead leave a gap, they have generally been analyzed as involving movement to the preposed position, and thus they have been likened to focus, rather than to left-dislocation (Cinque 1990; Casielles-Suárez 2004; Radford 2018; among others).

I now concentrate on the behavior of left-dislocations and topicalizations in the context of interest (i.e., in between complementizers). As shown by the novel contrast in (10), whereas native speakers of English accept hanging topics in recomplementation contexts, they reject topicalized phrases. Incidentally, in his corpus, Radford (2018) reports hanging topics/left dislocations in between thats, but not topicalizations.5

(10) a. (Left-dislocation/HTLD)
    They told me that Peteri, that they are going to invite himi.
  b. (Topicalization)
    *They told me that Peter, that they are going to invite ___.

My claim in Section 4.5 will be that the contrast in (10) is attributable to locality constraints on movement, with only phrases that can be externally merged in-between thats being able to be recomplementized (i.e., hanging topics/left dislocations). Accordingly, the claim made at the beginning of this section to the effect that only constituents that are capable of being dislocated can occur in-between thats/ques in English (and Spanish) recomplementation needs to be qualified to include those constituents that can be dislocated and which are derived by direct merge/base-generation in their superficial position between complementizers.6

A third type of constituent that can be preposed (and which, as shown by examples such as (4)a, b, can appear flanked between thats) includes adjuncts like local adverbial/prepositional adjuncts (cf. (11)a, b and (11)c, d) and local adverbial clauses (cf. (11)e, f).

(11) a. He is doing all of this for some unapparent reason.
  b. For some unapparent reason, he is doing all of this.
  c. We will throw the party despite the lack of funds.
  d. Despite the lack of funds, we will throw the party.
  e. You can leave the room once you have finished the exam.
  f. Once you have finished the exam, you can leave the room.

If we follow Cinque (1990) and Villa-García (2015), among others, in taking HTLDs to be elements of the DP/NP category, then the preposed phrases in (11) cannot be regarded as hanging topics (see Radford 2018 for much relevant discussion). This possibility is further weakened by the fact that PPs and adverbials can iterate, whereas hanging topics have been claimed to be very high elements that are limited to one per clause (though see Emonds 2004 for a dissenting view). Ostensibly, sentences like Despite the lack of funds, we will throw the party ___ could be interpreted as leaving a gap, much like their topicalization counterparts in (9). However, dislocated PPs/adverbials do not show the same distribution as topicalized phrases (in that the former, but not the latter, can occur in recomplementation constructions; cf. (4)a, b and (10)b); my claim will be that those constituents that can only be derived by movement cannot be hosted in between thats/ques due to locality restrictions. Similarly, following the work of Uriagereka (1988), Rizzi (1990), Law (1994), Bošković (2016), and Rizzi & Bocci (2017), adjuncts can be directly merged on the edge of the clause that they modify (i.e., such constituents need not be derived by movement; see Section 4.5 for evidence).7

What is clear is that a preposed PP/adverbial bears a certain informational-structural load that its non-preposed counterpart lacks. Therefore, it is scarcely surprising that such constituents were analyzed by Rizzi (1997) as a sub-type of topic (i.e., dislocation). They can in fact precede left-dislocations, as shown by the following piece of data from Radford (2018: 107):

(12) (Traffic Reporter, BBC Radio 5)
  And advance warning that from midnight tonight, the A3 in Surreyi iti’s going to be closed.

However, the PP/adverbial – left-dislocation configuration is by no means the only one we find in spoken English. Instances of the left-dislocation – PP/adverbial word order are also attested, as shown by the following example from Radford (2018: 107), which also confirms the recursive nature of the projection occupied by adverbial/PP phrases:

(13) (John Motson, BBC Radio 5)
  I just felt that Roy Hodgsoni, a few weeks ago, when Liverpool lost to Everton, hei was in a minority of one.

What the data above suggest is that whatever projection dislocated PPs and adverbials occupy, it must be able to precede and follow the category hosting bona fide dislocated constituents. For Villa-García (2015), matters are simplified by assuming that the relevant phrases all target TopicP (perhaps in a split-TopicP framework wherein TopicP can be divided into specialized projections, namely those for hanging topics, PPs/adverbials, etc.). By contrast, Radford (2018) contends that PPs and adverbials that are in the left periphery should be analyzed as being specifiers of ModifierP. Given the existing evidence, exemplified above, this category could in principle precede or follow TopicP (ModifierP > TopicP; TopicP > ModifierP; etc.). Radford (2018) argues that English recomplementation features adjunct PPs/adverbials/clauses or hanging topics, as shown in (4), so for this author recomplementation constructions involve the lexical realization of the head of TopicP or of the head of ModifierP. Anticipating the upcoming discussion, I will use the category TopicP for both dislocated modifiers and arguments functioning as left-peripheral topical elements, noting that a more sophisticated analysis where the topic domain is expanded to include a specific category housing dislocated modifiers is not incompatible with the proposal made here. In fact, there is crosslinguistic evidence militating in favor of a TopicP analysis of preposed adjunct clauses. Aboh (2015: Ch. 6) shows that the Gbe language Gungbe has a specific marker specialized for topics, illustrated in (14). (Incidentally, this variety also manifests a distinct focus marker wἑ, found with focal phrases and wh-phrases alike, which occur below topical constituents; Aboh argues that is in fact the spell-out of Topicº, with the focal marker heading Focusº).8

    1. (14)
    1. Gungbe (Aboh 2015: 250)
    1. Kòkló
    2. chicken
    1. DET
    1. TOP
    1. ùn
    2. 1.SG
    1. ɖà
    2. cook
    1. ἑ.
    2. 3.SG
    1. ‘As for the/this chicken, I cooked it.’

As far as adjunct clauses are concerned, when the protasis (i.e., an if-clause) appears to the left of the apodosis (i.e., the main clause of a conditional sentence), then the if-clause is also accompanied by the topic marker , suggesting that we are dealing with a topic here, as shown in (15).

    1. (15)
    1. Gungbe (Aboh 2015: 252)
    1. À
    2. 2.SG
    1. zɔn
    2. walk
    1. dἐdἑ
    2. slow
    1. this.way
    1. TOP
    1. kànlìn
    2. animal
    1. lἑ
    2. PL
    1. mᾰ
    2. NEG.FUT
    1. hɔn.
    2. escape
    1. ‘If you walk slowly this way, the animals will not escape.’

In light of this fact, I argue that even if dislocated adjunct clauses do not constitute canonical cases of HTLD/left-dislocation per se (see Section 4.5.1), there is evidence from typologically unrelated languages that adjunct clauses are topical when dislocated, hence amenable to a TopicP analysis. Put differently, the above provides support for the proposal that left-occurring adjunct clauses are topics. I now turn to the Spanish case with special reference to recomplementation environments.

2.2 Spanish

In Spanish (and in Romance languages such as Asturian, Catalan, and Italian), two constructions are reported to deploy topics/dislocations, namely HTLDs and Clitic-Left Dislocations (CLLDs). The first one is equivalent to its English counterpart in (7), and is exemplified for Spanish in (16).

    1. (16)
    1. Yoi,
    2. I
    1. ya
    2. already
    1. les
    2. CL.DAT
    1. dijo
    2. said
    1. mi
    2. my
    1. madre
    2. mother
    1. que
    2. that
    1. no
    2. not
    1. cuenten
    2. count
    1. conmigoi.
    2. with+me
    1. ‘As for me, my mother has already told them not to count on me.’

Note that in (16), in much the same way as in its English equivalent, the (dislocated) hanging topic must be a DP/NP bearing default case, a function discharged by nominative case in Spanish.

In marked contrast to the HTLD construction, CLLDed phrases are not limited to nominals, can bear structural case, can iterate, and are not necessarily set apart from the rest of the clause by an intonational boundary. (17), which involves a dislocated dative object, illustrates the phenomenon of CLLD in Spanish. Note that since a mi hermana is a nominal group, the corresponding pronominal clitic le occurs in the sentence.9

    1. (17)
    1. A
    2. DAT
    1. mi
    2. my
    1. hermana
    2. sister
    1. le
    2. CL.DAT
    1. mandaron
    2. sent
    1. siete
    2. seven
    1. emails.
    2. emails
    1. ‘My sister was sent seven emails.’

As is known, there is a debate regarding the derivation of CLLDs in languages like Spanish. Authors such as Barbosa (2009) for Portuguese and Fernández-Rubiera (2009) for Asturian claim that CLLDs are the result of base-generation where they surface; López (2009) submits that CLLDs in Catalan and Spanish result from movement from a VP-internal position (see also Villalba 2000); and Martín-González (2000), Bošković (2001), Villa-García (2012; 2015), and Martínez-Vera (in press) make the proposal that CLLDs can be the result of either base-generation (i.e., external/direct merge) or movement (internal merge) (see Section 4.5.1 for further details).10

Dislocated PPs can be misleading in Spanish, since they lack a(n overt) clitic — due to the impoverished clitic system of the language (Casielles-Suárez 1997) — and therefore they may in principle be taken to instantiate a phenomenon other than CLLD. An example of a dislocated argumental PP is provided in (18).

    1. (18)
    1. En
    2. in
    1. Mallorca
    2. Majorca
    1. llevan
    2. take
    1. viviendo
    2. living
    1. 10
    2. 10
    1. años.
    2. years
    1. ‘They have been living in Majorca for ten years.’

Nevertheless, Catalan provides evidence for the CLLDed nature of such phrases. As shown by (19), dislocated locatives (PPs) such as en aquesta casa in Catalan are accompanied by an attending resumptive clitic pronoun (hi) (Bonet 1991: 23).

    1. (19)
    1. En
    2. in
    1. aquesta
    2. this
    1. casa
    2. house
    1. hi
    2. CL.LOC
    1. viu
    2. lives
    1. un
    2. a
    1. amic
    2. friend
    1. meu.
    2. mine
    1. ‘In that house lives a friend of mine / A friend of mine lives in this house.’

The Catalan facts exemplified by cases like (19) provide crosslinguistic plausibility for the CLLDed analysis of dislocated PPs (Casielles-Suárez 2004; Villa-García 2015).11 However, it is still possible that PPs — in particular those which are non-argumental — constitute adjuncts that are base-generated in the left periphery, much like their English equivalents in (11) (Uriagereka 1988, inter alia). This could of course also be the analysis of preposed adverbial adjuncts and clauses in Spanish, exemplified in (20)b (see also the data in (5)b, c).

    1. (20)
    1. a.
    1. No
    2. not
    1. pudieron
    2. could
    1. aterrizar
    2. land
    1. por
    2. for
    1. culpa
    2. guilt
    1. del
    2. of+the
    1. viento.
    2. wind
    1.  
    1. b.
    1. Por culpa del viento, no pudieron aterrizar
    2. ‘They couldn’t land because of the wind / Because of the wind, they couldn’t land.’

Whatever the ultimate analysis of adjuncts and adverbial clauses in Spanish (and in English) turns out to be, what matters for our current purposes is that such phrases can be directly-merged dislocated constituents. This derivational possibility allows them to be featured in recomplementation contexts. As will be argued in Section 4.5, there is a locality issue that arises in the presence of secondary complementizers: movement operations across recomplementation that/que are banned, which is why only base-generated constituents can appear between complementiers (see the relevant section for evidence that adjunct clauses/PPs can be the result of merge or movement in both languages, with the former derivation being the one found in recomplementation cases).

Summarizing, topical, dislocated phrases in English come in three types: left dislocations/hanging topics, topicalizations (though see fn. 6), and adjunct adverbials/PPs and clausal adverbials. In Spanish, dislocations come in the form of left dislocations/hanging topics, CLLDs (which include — but may not be limited to — DPs and PPs), and adjunct adverbials and clausal adverbials. Except for topicalizations in English (Cinque 1990, inter alia), all the other constructions can be derived by external merge in the position where they are pronounced. As will be shown and as hinted at above, only those dislocates that can be derived by base-generation in their surface position can appear between thats/ques in recomplementation configurations, since movement cannot cross secondary complementizers.12

2.3 What about foci?

A final question which arises is whether recomplementation configurations can host other types of left-peripheral specifiers such as foci. The answer to this question turns out to be negative, as shown by the English and Spanish examples in (21), which indicate that foci, much like English topicalizations, cannot occur in flanked position.13

    1. (21)
    1. a.
    1. *I think that TOMORROW, that I will come (not today).
    1.  
    1. b.
    1. *Pienso
    2.   think
    1. que
    2. that
    1. MAÑANA,
    2. TOMORROW
    1. que
    2. that
    1. voy
    2. goes
    1. a
    2. to
    1. venir
    2. come
    1. (no
    2. (not
    1. hoy).
    2. today)
    1.    ‘I think that I will come tomorrow, not today.’

A plausible question to raise is why this should be the case. One obvious answer is that foci are simply incompatible with TopicP, which can easily be explained under a feature-driven framework (e.g., Uriagereka 1995): the features of the focal phrase do not match those of Topicº. There is yet another reason why focal phrases are not compatible with recomplementation that/que. Focal phrases are standardly assumed to be the result of movement. As will be argued in Section 4.5, there is a locality effect with the secondary instances of complementizers this paper is concerned with. As a consequence, movement across doubled complementizers is impeded, which prevents focal phrases from occurring in the context of interest.

Having established that recomplementation is associated with topical/dislocated elements — and not focal ones — in the next section I set out a proposal which takes as its basis the dislocated, topical nature of recomplementation configurations in both English and Spanish.

3 The underlying structure of the CP space: Toward a unified account of recomplementation in English and Spanish

The syntax of the left periphery of the clause/sentence came into focus two decades ago, with the seminal work of Rizzi (1997), which has led to numerous studies attempting to delineate the peripheries of the world’s languages. Prior to Rizzi’s proposal, the principal approach to the left edge was the Complementizer Phrase (CP) analysis, which assumes a unique projection capable of hosting left-peripheral constituents such as wh-items. This system was soon expanded by capitalizing on its recursive capacity, which opened the way to an explanation for the possibility of having more than one CP-related constituent per sentence (see also Uriagereka’s 1995 FP system). An abstract structure illustrating (a recursive case under) this analysis appears in (22).

(22) … [CP [C' [CP [C' [TP…]]]]]

In contrast to the CP system, Rizzi proposed a detailed mapping of the periphery with specific projections devoted to different tasks, or a split CP — an articulated hierarchy of functional XPs that has come to be part of the cartographic approach to syntactic structures. As regards obligatory projections, Rizzi claims that the highest CP-related projection is ForceP, a phrase responsible for marking the force of the sentence (interrogative, imperative, declarative…), and the lowest is FinitenessP, which encodes information pertaining to the mood of the sentence and whether it is finite or non-finite. In the absence of left-peripheral material, the two can be conflated, effectively giving us something along the lines of ForceFinitenessP (or CP). When left-peripheral material occurs, however, then other sandwiched projections can appear, such as TopicP and FocusP, on an as-needed basis. Rizzi provides evidence that the order among projections is universally fixed, that is, that ForceP precedes TopicP, TopicP precedes FocusP, and FocusP precedes FinitenessP.14 Given the observation that topics such as CLLDs can iterate, Rizzi postulated that TopicP is a recursive phrase. In order to make the discussion more concrete, consider the sentences in (23).

(23) a. Koizumi (1995: 140)
    Becky said that these books, only with great difficulty can she carry.
  b. Radford (2018: 14)
    This kind of booki, who would you buy iti for?

In the first sentence, that heralds the left periphery of the embedded clause, making it declarative (ForceP). The complementizer is followed by a topicalized constituent, these books, which is in turn followed by a focal constituent, only with great difficulty, as indicated by its triggering auxiliary inversion. In much the same way, the root sentence in (23)b involves a left-dislocated phrase (connected to a resumptive) that precedes a wh-item, which Rizzi (1997) assumes occupies FocusP. Sentences like those in (23) are analyzed under Rizzi’s approach using the geometry of projections furnished in (24), which is the basic structure of the left periphery under Rizzi’s (1997 et seq.) left-peripheral structure.

(24) … [ForceP [Force' ([TopicP [Topic' [FocusP [Focus') [FinitenessP [Finiteness' [TP …]](]]]])]]]

In the last twenty-two years, the articulated structure in (24) has been refined, to include additional projections such as ModifierP, as proposed by Rizzi (2001). Many questions have arisen, including the relative order of the different constituents that can be externally merged or moved to the left edge, whether other projections such as TopicP should be further decomposed into more specific phrases (Benincà & Poletto 2004), or whether the relative orders exhibited by the different projections are universal (Lipták 2011). For recent accounts of the development of the cartographic approach to the left periphery, see Rizzi & Bocci (2017) and Radford (2018).

As an alternative to the Rizzian fine structure of the left periphery in (24), an account along the lines of the CP analysis outlined above (cf. (22)) has been revived in recent work (Chomsky 2008; Abels 2012; Ott 2014; 2015). On this Minimalist view, a single C head is responsible for left-peripheral processes, which can be manifested through multiple, stacked specifiers, or coordination plus ellipsis, with locality of movement playing a major role in the ordering of elements (Abels 2012).

It is not my goal to draw a detailed comparison between the CP proposal and the split-CP proposal in this paper (see, however, Villa-García 2015). I will focus instead on what English and Spanish recomplementation can tell us about the structure of the leftmost clausal domain. My working hypothesis, following Rodríguez-Ramalle (2003), Paoli (2006), Mascarenhas (2007), Ribeiro (2010), Villa-García (2010; 2012; 2015; 2016), and Radford (2018), will be the TopicP analysis within Rizzi’s approach. In other words, I will pursue the view that the recomplementation facts support a Rizzian TopicP analysis, with the highest instance of the complementizer spelling out Forceº, and the lowest one Topicº. The evidence adduced in the paper so far actually indicates that recomplementation is intimately associated with the notion of dislocation (topic), in the sense that the flanked XP is a dislocated constituent, which is a first argument militating in support of the account in (25).15

    1. (25)
    1. The TopicP analysis of recomplementation configurations

As the careful reader will note, there are a myriad of potential approaches within Rizzi’s framework. For instance, it may be the case that the secondary complementizer of recomplementation patterns occupies Finitenessº, rather than Topicº, and there is also the possibility that a whole new different projection different from those in (25) could be invoked to accommodate the recomplementation configuration. I will not entertain all the possibilities here for reasons of space, noting that Villa-García (2015) has extensively discussed the different approaches to recomplementation within the cartographic paradigm.

In the next section, I provide a close empirical comparison between English and Spanish recomplementation constructions taking the TopicP analysis of recomplementation in (25) as my point of departure.

4 Properties of recomplementation in English and Spanish

There are a number of properties of recomplementation configurations in English and Spanish in addition to the requirement that the sandwiched element be a dislocated/topical constituent. In the following subsections, I explore such properties, while showing that the proposed TopicP analysis can uniformly account for the observed properties.16

4.1 Iterative thats/ques

As is well known, topical or dislocated phrases such as adjunct PPs/adverbials, adjunct clauses, and CLLDs can be iterative, that is, there can be multiple occurrences of topical elements in languages like English and Spanish (Rizzi 1997 et seq.). This is illustrated for English in (26) and for Spanish in (27), where instances of (embedded) dislocations are boldfaced.

(26) She says that to the party, with your sister, Peter is not willing to go.

    1. (27)
    1. Dice
    2. says
    1. que
    2. that
    1. a
    2. to
    1. la
    2. the
    1. misa,
    2. service
    1. con
    2. with
    1. ella,
    2. her
    1. a
    2. DAT
    1. Pedro
    2. Peter
    1. no
    2. not
    1. le
    2. CL.DAT
    1. apetece
    2. feels-like
    1. ir.
    2. go
    1. ‘S/he says that Peter does not feel like going to church with her.’

Under Rizzi’s approach, the boldfaced phrases in these examples sit in different recursive TopicP projections. If Rizzi is correct in assuming that TopicP is a recursive phrase, and that each topical constituent sits in the specifier of its own TopicP projection, then the prediction is that in principle we should be able to find examples of multiple-complementizer sentences involving an instance of that/que below each topic, on the assumption that secondary that/que is the spell-out of Topicº. Examples (28) and (29), the latter of which is inspired by Escribano (1991), bear out this prediction.

(28) Radford (2018: 126, attributed to Jim McCloskey)
  I don’t think that for the sake of your own well-being, that if you are in a bilingual classroom, that once you have completed the homework in one language, that you should have to do it all over again in the second one.

    1. (29)
    1. María
    2. Mary
    1. me
    2. CL.DAT
    1. dijo
    2. said
    1. que
    2. that
    1. el
    2. the
    1. dinero,
    2. money
    1. que
    2. that
    1. a
    2. DAT
    1. Juan,
    2. John
    1. que
    2. that
    1. al
    2. at+the
    1. final,
    2. end
    1. que
    2. that
    1. no
    2. not
    1. se
    2. CL.DAT
    1. lo
    2. CL.ACC
    1. van
    2. go
    1. a
    2. to
    1. dar.
    2. give
    1. ‘Mary told me that in the end they are not giving John the money.’

Under the analysis outlined in Section 3, the English and Spanish examples in (28) and (29) would receive the account in (30), simplified by showing only the relevant constituents. (Note that the subscripted consecutive numbers are only meant to serve as visual aids to show the various complementizers in the sentences).

(30) … [ForceP [Force' that1/que1 [TopicP for the sake of your own well being/el dinero [Topic' that2/que2 [TopicP if you are in a bilingual classroom/a Juan [Topic' that3/que3 [TopicP once you have completed the homework in one language/al final [Topic' that4/que4 … ]]]]]]]]

That recomplementation that and que can be recursive confirms the topical nature of the phenomenon and is thus compatible with the TopicP analysis of recomplementation patterns pursued here. The data also argue against competing proposals such as the FinitenessP analysis, which assumes that recomplementation that/que spells-out Finitenessº. This is so because for one thing, FinitenessP is not related to topichood, and also, because FinitenessP does not manifest recursion (Rizzi 1997 et seq.).

4.2 Multiple dislocates in sandwiched position

Much like every embedded topic can in principle be followed by an instance of that/que, it is also possible to find various contiguous dislocated topics sandwiched by overt complementizers, as shown in (31), from Radford (2018: 130) and (32).

(31) (Alan Brazil, Talksport Radio)
  Do you think that Paris Saint Germain, with the money they have behind them, that they’re the new powerhouse in French football?

    1. (32)
    1. Dijo
    2. said
    1. que
    2. that
    1. el
    2. the
    1. iPhone,
    2. iPhone
    1. a
    2. DAT
    1. Juan,
    2. John
    1. al
    2. to+the
    1. final,
    2. end
    1. que
    2. that
    1. se
    2. CL.DAT
    1. lo
    2. CL.ACC
    1. arreglan.
    2. fix
    1. ‘S/he said that in the end they are fixing John’s iPhone.’

The availability of (31) and (32) is not surprising, given the possibility of not lexicalizing the heads of the intermediate TopicPs, as shown abstractly in (33), which again assumes the recursiveness of TopicP.

(33) … [ForceP [Force' that1/que1 [TopicP dislocate [Topic' Ø [TopicP dislocate [Topic' that2/que2 … ]]]]]]

A different approach here would be to assume stacked, multiple specifiers of TopicP, with a shared head, spelled out as that/que. However, the existence of such data as those in the previous subsection, with an overt head after every dislocate, and those in Section 4.3 below, which involve a that/que-less dislocate after an instance of recomplementation that/que, seem to favor the analysis pursued here (though see Section 4.5 for additional discussion).17

4.3 Dislocates below recomplementation that/que

If the projection housing flanked dislocated constituents is recursive and that/que (optionally) spells out its head position, then we should be able to find instances of that/que + dislocate + that/que + dislocate sequences. This is confirmed by the English data in (34) (examples a and b are reported in Radford 2018: 183). Note that (34)a is an example of a low left-dislocated phrase (followed by a coreferential pronominal acting as the subject), (34)b comprises a dislocated prepositional phrase, and (34)c is an example of a dislocated adverbial phrase.

(34) a. I must admit that, during the Paralympics held in Rio, that the courage that some athletes showedi, iti filled me with admiration.
  b. (Racehorse owner, BBC Radio 5)
    I rang Newbury to say that when she was due to race, that for some unapparent reason she got very upset.
  c. The MP noted that because of the impending Brexit negotiations, that all around the UK people are scared to death about what may happen.

For Spanish, the same situation can be replicated, as shown by the spontaneous data in (35), heard in the Spanish region of Asturias.

    1. (35)
    1. a.
    1. Gritó
    2. shouted
    1. que
    2. that
    1. al
    2. to+the
    1. concierto,
    2. concert
    1. que
    2. that
    1. a
    2. DOM.ACC
    1. Pedro
    2. Peter
    1. no
    2. not
    1. lo
    2. CL.ACC
    1. llevan.
    2. take
    1. ‘S/he shouted that they are not taking Peter to the concert.’
    1.  
    1. b.
    1. Me
    2. CL.DAT
    1. dijo
    2. said
    1. que
    2. that
    1. a
    2. DOM.ACC
    1. Jesusín
    2. Jesus
    1. de
    2. of
    1. Galiana,
    2. Galiana
    1. que
    2. that
    1. cuando
    2. when
    1. llueve
    2. rains
    1. en
    2. in
    1. Semana
    2. Week
    1. Santa
    2. Holy
    1. no
    2. not
    1. lo
    2. CL.ACC
    1. sacan
    2. take-out
    1. para
    2. for
    1. que
    2. that
    1. no
    2. not
    1. se
    2. CL
    1. deteriore.
    2. deteriorate
    1. ‘S/he told me that they don’t take out (the carving of) Jesusín de Galiana when it rains during the Easter processions so that it doesn’t get damaged.’

The facts just reviewed are captured straightforwardly within the analysis currently pursued, as shown by the simplified abstract derivation in (36).

(36) … [ForceP [Force' that1/que1 [TopicP dislocate [Topic' that2/que2 [TopicP dislocate [Topic' Ø … ]]]]]]

In the next subsection, I investigate the possibility of having focal phrases right below recomplementation that/que.

4.4 Flanked dislocates followed by foci

Consider again Rizzi’s proposal, shown in (37):

(37) … [ForceP [Force' [TopicP [Topic' [FocusP [Focus' [FinitenessP [Finiteness' … ]]]]]]]]

An interesting prediction can be derived from this analysis of recomplementation. In principle, a focal phrase cannot precede an instance of that2/que2, as we have seen. However, a focal phrase should be able to occur in the position below the secondary complementizer in both languages, given that FocusP is structurally preceded by TopicP in (37). This prediction is fulfilled by (38) and (39), where capitalization signals focus. Note that the preposed negative constituent AT NO TIME triggers inversion of the auxiliary will, which confirms its focal character (in Spanish, although the subject is null, if it were overt, it would have to occur postverbally, exactly as expected if the relevant left-peripheral constituent is focal; see Torrego 1984 for details).

(38) Haegeman (2012: 85)
  I hope that when they are adults that AT NO TIME will they forget the work that their parents put into their education

    1. (39)
    1. Me
    2. CL.DAT
    1. juró
    2. swore
    1. que
    2. that
    1. a
    2. to
    1. la
    2. the
    1. uni,
    2. uni
    1. que
    2. that
    1. NI
    2. not
    1. DE
    2. of
    1. COÑA
    2. joke
    1. va
    2. goes
    1. a
    2. to
    1. ir.
    2. go
    1. ‘S/he swore to me that s/he will not go to college/the university under any circumstances.’

The data in (38) and (39) argue in favor of the abstract analysis in (37)/(40) and in turn confirm the dislocated character of recomplementation configurations in English and Spanish, since topics routinely precede foci; it is then not surprising that …XP + that/que sequences, which I argue belong in TopicP, are able to precede focal phrases (cf. (40)).

(40) … [ForceP [Force' that/que [TopicP dislocate [Topic' that2/que2 [FocusP focus [Focus' [FinitenessP [Finiteness' … ]]]]]]]]

The English and Spanish recomplementation data reviewed so far can be accounted for — and in fact receive a unitary explanation — under a TopicP analysis. In so doing, the crosslinguistic evidence adduced above also allows us to draw a more detailed mapping of the architecture of the left periphery in both languages. I now investigate the locality of recomplementation that/que and its consequences for the derivation of flanked topical constituents.

4.5 The locality of secondary that/que

Villa-García (2010; 2012; 2015) observes that secondary que complementizers in Spanish induce a locality-of-movement problem. This is illustrated for long-distance extraction in (41), where strikethrough marks deleted copies of the relevant moved items:

    1. (41)
    1. a.
    1. *¿Qué
    2.     what
    1. me
    2. CL.DAT
    1. contaste
    2. told
    1. que
    2. that
    1. a
    2. DAT
    1. tu
    2. your
    1. novia,
    2. girlfriend
    1. que
    2. that
    1. le
    2. CL.DAT
    1. habías
    2. had
    1. regalado
    2. given
    1. qué?
    2. what
    1.  
    1. b.
    1.   ¿Qué
    2.     what
    1. me
    2. CL.DAT
    1. contaste
    2. say
    1. que
    2. that
    1. a
    2. DAT
    1. tu
    2. your
    1. novia
    2. girlfriend
    1. le
    2. CL.DAT
    1. habías
    2. had
    1. regalado
    2. given
    1. qué?
    2. what
    1.       ‘What did you tell me you had given your girlfriend?’

The contrast in (41) indicates that when que2 is present, long-distance extraction of qué ‘what’ is impossible, as in (41)a, whereas in the absence of que2, extraction can occur without difficulty, as shown in (41)b.18 Note that what creates a locality issue is the low complementizer, not the high one, as indicated by (41)b.

As far as movement to the specifier of TopicP is concerned, that is, movement to the position flanked between complementizers, Villa-García goes on to observe that in the presence of recomplementation, reconstruction effects are not exhibited by the flanked dislocate; reconstruction effects are only displayed by the version of embedded dislocation without recomplementation, as shown by the contrasting examples in (42).

    1. (42)
    1. a.
    1. Dice
    2. says
    1. que
    2. that
    1. a
    2. DAT
    1. sui
    2. his/her
    1. jefe,
    2. boss
    1. que
    2. that
    1. [todo
    2. all
    1. Dios*i/j]
    2. god
    1. le
    2. CL.DAT
    1. trae
    2. brings
    1. jamones.
    2. hams
    1. ‘S/he says that everybody brings hams to his/her/their boss.’    [* bound reading]
    1.  
    1. b.
    1. Dice
    2. says
    1. que
    2. that
    1. a
    2. DAT
    1. sui
    2. his/her
    1. jefe
    2. boss
    1. [todo
    2. all
    1. Diosi/j]
    2. god
    1. le
    2. CL.DAT
    1. trae
    2. brings
    1. jamones.
    2. hams
    1. ‘S/he says that everybody brings hams to his/her/their boss.’    [✔ bound reading]

In (42)a, which contains recomplementation que, the bound variable interpretation does not obtain: the only interpretation of the sentence is that in which the dative argument a su jefe makes reference to an extrasentential individual (e.g., the speaker’s boss, or somebody else’s boss); the interpretation in which the quantified expression todo Dios binds the possessive su in the dislocated phrase is not available. The version without recomplementation que in (42)b stands in stark contrast with (42)a in that in the absence of que2 the bound reading is available, i.e., todo Dios can bind a su jefe. Villa-García (2015) takes this contrast to indicate that the dislocate flanked by ques is externally merged in its surface position in (42)a. The dislocate cannot cross que2 because this crossing operation would create a locality effect along the lines of what happens in (41)a. In other words, the position flanked between ques is a merger site, rather than a landing site. This is why the base-generated dislocate does not exhibit reconstruction effects in (42)a (i.e., there is no low position below todo Dios from which a su hijo could be c-commanded under reconstruction at LF; in a Copy-Theory-of-Movement approach, the low copy would simply not exist, thus making it unavailable for purposes of LF interpretation). On the other hand, in (42)b, without que2, a su hijo has undergone movement to the left periphery, and consequently the low position below todo Dios is available for reconstruction for purposes of the bound variable interpretation (or, alternatively, a low copy of a su hijo). This is precisely what Villalba (2000) and López (2009) claim for run-of-the-mill CLLD (without recomplementation): that such constituents are derived by movement. In short, the derivation of each element would proceed as in (43).

(43) a. XPi, que [quantifier*i/j]   (cf. (42)a; recomplementation)
  b. XPi   [quantifieri/j] XPi (cf. (42)b; regular embedded CLLD)

This analysis assumes that CLLDs in Spanish can in principle be derived by (i) base-generation/direct, external merge in their superficial position or by (ii) internal merge/movement to the left periphery (Martín-González 2002; Villa-García 2010; 2012; 2015; Martínez Vera in press), as mentioned in passing in Section 2.2. The only derivational possibility available in the case of recomplementation is that in which the flanked constituent is externally merged in the position where it surfaces, that is to say, between complementizers (cf. (i)/(43)a).

A similar situation can be found in relation to adjunct clauses. The examples in (44) involve anaphors, which, as is well known, need to be bound (i.e., c-commanded) by a local antecedent, in compliance with Condition A of the Binding Theory. Chomsky (1995) shows through famous examples such as Which picture of himself did Bill say that John bought? that the anaphor can refer either to Bill or to John, suggesting that there is a low copy of which picture of himself below John at some point in the derivation. This is exactly what happens in (44)b: a sí mismo can be bound by either el abuelo or Juan. This suggests that the adjunct clause containing the anaphor has undergone movement to the left-periphery (cf. (43)b). However, in the corresponding sentence with recomplementation que, (44)a, only the interpretation in which the anaphor is bound by the highest DP, el abuelo, obtains; the anaphor cannot be bound by Juan, which follows from the claim that sandwiched dislocates are base-generated in between ques (hence there is no lower position to which they can reconstruct for purposes of anaphor binding, in breach of Condition A) (cf. (43)a).

    1. (44)
    1. a.
    1. El
    2. the
    1. abueloi
    2. grandpa
    1. dice
    2. says
    1. que
    2. that
    1. cuando
    2. when
    1. se
    2. CL
    1. sepa
    2. knew
    1. de
    2. of
    1. semejante
    2. such
    1. lucha
    2. fight
    1. consigo mismoi/*j,
    2. with-himself
    1. que
    2. that
    1. Juanj
    2. John
    1. no
    2. not
    1. levantará
    2. raise
    1. cabeza.
    2. head
    1. ‘Grandpai says that when that fight against himselfi/*j is known, that Johnj will not be able to get back on his feet.’
    1.  
    1. b.
    1. El
    2. the
    1. abueloi
    2. grandpa
    1. dice
    2. says
    1. que
    2. that
    1. cuando
    2. when
    1. se
    2. CL
    1. sepa
    2. knew
    1. de
    2. of
    1. semejante
    2. such
    1. lucha
    2. fight
    1. consigo mismoi/j
    2. with-himself
    1. Juanj
    2. John
    1. no
    2. not
    1. levantará
    2. raise
    1. cabeza.
    2. head
    1. ‘Grandpai says that when that fight against himselfi/j is known Johnj will not be able to get back on his feet.’

As shown by the English paraphrases of the relevant Spanish examples in (44), the same situation obtains in English, with binding by the embedded subject being possible only in the absence of recomplementation that.19 I return to the locality effect with English recomplementation that momentarily. (The data at hand also show that adjunct clauses can be derived either by base-generation or by movement, as noted in Section 2.1, a claim that will be further substantiated in Section 4.5.1).

The locality effect with recomplementation que has commanded considerable attention in the recent literature (see, e.g., Villa-García 2010; 2012; 2015; González i Planas 2014; MacDonald 2015; Martínez Vera 2017; in press; Cerrudo & Gallego 2018; Torrego in preparation; see Radford 2018 for recomplementation that in English). The actual implementation of the locality issue remains a point of contention in the literature, with accounts that range from Comp-t effect violations, barrier/island violations, and CED (Constraint on Extraction Domains) violations to issues arising in relation to phase theory, antilocality, and the labeling algorithm.

Be that as it may, since our goal is to outline the similarities and differences between recomplementation in English and recomplementation in Spanish, what is important for our current purposes is that recomplementation that in English also displays island-creating properties. This is shown by the contrasting examples in (45), reported in Radford (2018: 125) and based on an implicit claim made by Haegeman (2012). This highlights yet another similarity between recomplementation in Spanish and its English counterpart: the locality effect with secondary complementizers in recomplementation (see also the reconstruction examples involving anaphors above).

(45) a. I hope that what their parents did for them (*that) they will never forget ___.
  b. What their parents did for them, I hope that as long as they live, they will never forget ___.

In (45)a, the boldfaced fronted argument what their parents did for them can only appear on condition that that2 is absent. Radford (2018) takes this piece of data to indicate that a moved element cannot appear above that2. Again, much like in Spanish, crossing a high instance of that is not a problem, as indicated by (45)b; it is only recomplementation that that induces a locality issue (though see Radford 2018 for a potential counterexample).20

Similarly, only elements that are derived by base-generation in the position where they surface can be featured in English recomplementation contexts (see the English counterparts furnished in the paraphrases of the Spanish examples in (44)). As noted in passing in Section 2, left-dislocations (aka hanging topics), which are resumed by a pronoun in the argumental position corresponding to the dislocate, can appear in flanked position. Throughout his discussion of prior analyses of the derivation of left-dislocations (i.e., HTLDs), Radford (2018: Ch. 2) provides extensive empirical evidence from English that such dislocates are derived by direct merge in their surface position.

In contrast, topicalizations, which leave a gap standardly assumed to stem from movement, cannot occur in the position flanked by thats. This is shown by the novel contrast presented in (10), repeated here in (46).

(46) a. (Left-dislocation/HTLD)
    They told me that Peteri, that they are going to invite himi.
  b. (Topicalization)
    *They told me that Peter, that they are going to invite ___.

This should come as no surprise, since that2 induces a locality problem, as shown by (45)a, and consequently only dislocates that can be merged in their surface position are able to occur in recomplementation environments (cf. (46)a), much like in Spanish (cf. (42)a/(44)a).

In light of the locality of recomplementation, a note is in order regarding the lexicalization of secondary that/que. The claim so far is that that/que-XP-that/que dislocates are externally merged in the flanked position where they surface, and that overt secondary that/que induces a locality-of-movement problem. Villa-García (2015) makes the proposal that base-generation and que realization go hand in hand: sandwiched dislocates are directly merged where they surface; in contrast, when recomplementation does not occur, this is because the moving XP crosses que and que is deleted, since it displays island-creating properties and unless it is PF-removed, it creates a locality problem. Note that on this view the last-resort operation of secondary-que deletion is an instantiation of the widely held view that ellipsis/deletion ameliorates locality violations (see Villa-García 2015 and references therein). This is schematized in (47). (47)a shows the base-generation derivation, and (47)b shows the movement derivation, with concomitant *-marking of the offending element que, which marks it for deletion in PF.

(47) a. … que XP, que     (cf. recomplementation)
  b. … que XP XP   (cf. regular embedded CLLD)

Under this approach, que2 is always present in the case of embedded dislocations, its absence being the result of a PF-deletion operation motivated by movement of the XP to the specifier of the projection headed by que2 and the need to avoid a locality violation caused by movement across the troublemaking secondary complementizer. Thus, the optionality of recomplementation que is only apparent under this approach, as the underlying derivations are different for each case (cf. (47)). Appealing as this approach is, it has come up against criticism (see, e.g., MacDonald 2015). In this connection, the presence/absence of that2/que2 is linked to the more general and non-trivial question of whether the overt realization of Cºs is purely the result of a superficial, PF Spell-Out (i.e., pronunciation) parameter (Rizzi 2013; Rizzi & Bocci 2017) (see Villa-García in preparation).

There is indeed a recent approach which is in keeping with Villa-García’s claim about base-generation vs. movement, but which does not rely on (non-)PF realization of secondary que. Martínez-Vera (in press) has recently argued that when que2 is present, base-generation of the dislocate takes place à la Villa-García (2015). Setting aside technical details of Martínez-Vera’s proposal, the difference between the two analyses concerns recomplementationless CLLDs, which for Martínez-Vera are also moved to the specifier of TopicP, but in such cases que is not present and instead verb movement to Topicº occurs, as in (48).

(48) a. … que XP, que         (cf. recomplementation)
  b. … que XP V V XP     (cf. regular embedded CLLD)

In sum, Martínez-Vera’s account does not put a premium on the PF realization/deletion of que in those varieties featuring recomplementation: que2 only occurs with base-generated recomplementation dislocates.21

4.5.1 Flanked constituents: Further derivational properties

The preceding discussion leads to the conclusion that only constituents that can be externally merged in the flanked position where they surface can be featured in recomplementation configurations in English and Spanish; phrases cannot move to pre-recomplementation-that/que position due to constraints on locality of movement, or, put another way, the flanked position (Spec,TopicP) is a merger site, not a landing one. What this means in practice is that the flanked specifier characteristic of recomplementation environments can only be filled by one of the following constituents (see also Section 2), which form a natural class by virtue of being (able to be) externally merged in their superficial site.

  1. Hanging topics (left-dislocations in Ross’ 1967 original terminology) in both English and Spanish.
  2. Adverbial phrases and clauses, which can be base-generated at the edge of the clause that they modify (Uriagereka 1988; Rizzi 1990; Law 1994; inter alia). This applies to both the English and the Spanish cases. Recall that, as noted in the previous section, in principle both (a) the movement and (b) the base-generation derivation are available for adjunct clauses, the latter being the only option in double-that/que contexts, in parallel fashion to what happens in the case of CLLD in Spanish (cf. (iii)).
  3. CLLDed phrases in Spanish, which can in theory be deployed by means of two derivations, namely (a) movement or (b) base-generation, the latter being the only possibility available in recomplementation constructions (cf. (43)).22

Topicalizations in English are ruled out in the context of recomplementation, as they leave a gap standardly assumed to arise from movement of the preposed phrase (cf. the contrast in (46)).

Focusing on (iii), as noted by Villa-García (2015: 166), flanked CLLDs in Spanish are hybrid phrases in the sense that they display dual behavior, falling somewhere between hanging topics and CLLDs, but leaning toward the latter, since “sandwiched CLLDed constituents may bear structural case, are not limited to DPs, can iterate, are derived by base-generation (rather than movement), [and, as discussed below,] are normally followed by a pause.”

One relevant additional difference between hanging topics and CLLDs is that despite the fact that both types of dislocates are merged between complementizers, recomplementized CLLDs are more constrained as far as locality is concerned. Specifically, Villa-García argues that in addition to the direct-merge requirement noted above, non-HTLDed constituents such as recomplementized CLLDs and adverbial clauses are subject to another locality restriction, namely a clausematehood condition, in the sense that such flanked dislocates must be interpreted in the clause in whose periphery they are externally merged (i.e., “locally”). This is shown by the contrast in (49).

    1. (49)
    1. a.
    1. Dice
    2. says
    1. que
    2. that
    1. si
    2. if
    1. llueve
    2. rains
    1. María
    2. Mary
    1. pensará
    2. will-think
    1. que
    2. that
    1. me
    2. CL
    1. quedo.
    2. stay
    1. ‘S/he says that if it rains, Mary will think that I am staying.’
    1.  
    1. b.
    1. Dice
    2. says
    1. que
    2. that
    1. si
    2. if
    1. llueve,
    2. rains
    1. que
    2. that
    1. María
    2. Mary
    1. pensará
    2. will-think
    1. que
    2. that
    1. me
    2. CL
    1. quedo.
    2. stay
    1. ‘S/he says that if it rains, that Mary will think that I am staying.’

In (49)a, without recomplementation after the protasis/if-clause, the if-clause can be related to the most embedded clause, which acts as the apodosis or consequent, for a conditional relationship is established between the act of raining and the speaker’s staying (Bhatt & Pancheva 2006). However, in (49)b, with recomplementation, si llueve can only be interpreted as entering into a conditional relationship with Mary’s thinking of the speaker’s staying, but not with the act of the speaker’s staying. This is not surprising, since si llueve can only be associated with the clause where it is base-generated. The English paraphrases of the examples in (49) actually show that the same state of affairs holds for English.23 This suggests that flanked phrases in this language also display a clausematehood effect, much like its Spanish counterparts (see Radford 2018 for the claim that the recomplementized adverbial adjuncts and clauses in his corpus are actually local).

In relation to other potential similarities and differences between HTLD and CLLD in recomplementation, according to Villa-García (2015), recomplementized CLLDs cannot be doubled by an epithet that refers to the individual featured in the flanked constituent, unlike their HTLDed counterparts. Nonetheless, since recomplementized CLLDs are base-generated, much like HTLDs, we would in principle expect them to be able to be connected to an epithet. An informal grammaticality-judgment survey conducted among ten native speakers of Iberian Spanish shows that epithets that are associated with recomplementation dislocates yield better results than their non-recomplementation counterparts, as shown by the novel contrast in (50), which refutes Villa-García’s claim.

    1. (50)
    1. a.
    1. ?Dice
    2.   says
    1. que
    2. that
    1. con
    2. with
    1. Juani,
    2. John
    1. que
    2. that
    1. no
    2. not
    1. cuentan
    2. count
    1. con
    2. with
    1. ese
    2. that
    1. traidori.
    2. traitor
    1.  
    1. b.
    1. *Dice
    2.   says
    1. que
    2. that
    1. con
    2. with
    1. Juani
    2. John
    1. no
    2. not
    1. cuentan
    2. count
    1. con
    2. with
    1. ese
    2. that
    1. traidori.
    2. traitor
    1.    Intended reading: ‘S/he says that John, they are not counting on him, the traitor.’

The contrasting examples in (50)a and (50)b resonate well with the contention made here that recomplementation dislocates are base-generated in-between ques; the actual argumental position in the VP can potentially be occupied by an epithet. This is not the case with recomplementationless dislocates, (50)b, which undergo movement to the left periphery (cf. (43)b). An additional piece of evidence corroborating the availability of a sentence-internal position for the associate/resumptive of recomplementation dislocates in Spanish comes from the following naturally-occurring sentence, uttered by a speaker from Spain:

    1. (51)
    1. Yo
    2. I
    1. entiendo
    2. understand
    1. que
    2. that
    1. Guitii,
    2. Hugo
    1. que
    2. that
    1. éli
    2. he
    1. no
    2. not
    1. es
    2. is
    1. así.
    2. thus
    1. ‘I understand that Hugoi, that hei is not that way.’

The new piece of data in (51) unveils an interesting state of affairs in a prototypical null-subject language like Spanish, where dislocated subjects are generally associated with a null subject in clause-internal position, and subject doubling is argued not to exist (Barbosa 2009). In this case, however, the sandwiched subject dislocate is coreferential with a (strong) pronoun in preverbal position. Even though this pronoun could be interpreted as a dislocate without recomplementation que or as a focused phrase, and hence not as a genuine subject in the canonical subject position (i.e., Spec,TP), the impossibility of (52) manifests a noteworthy contrast.24

    1. (52)
    1. ?*Yo
    2.     I
    1. entiendo
    2. understand
    1. que
    2. that
    1. Guitii,
    2. Hugo
    1. éli
    2. he
    1. no
    2. not
    1. es
    2. is
    1. así.
    2. thus
    1.       ‘I understand that Hugoi, hei is not that way.’

Additionally, note that in (51) above no Condition C violation occurs, which is what we would in theory expect if Guiti had been extracted from postverbal position (coreferential éli would c-command Guitii at some point in the derivation, in breach of Condition C; see Bhatt & Pancheva 2006, among others).25 By contrast, (51) is fully compatible with Guiti being directly merged in between ques, which is precisely what I claim for sandwiched phrases. I conclude that examples like (51) further indicate that recomplementation dislocates are base-generated in the left-peripheral site where they surface, thus leaving their canonical, clause-internal position empty and therefore potentially available for a clause-internal argument, much like in (50)a. This position is not available in the absence of que in Spanish, as shown by (52); however, subject doubling is licit in non-recomplementation contexts in non-null-subject languages like English, as indicated, for example, by the English paraphrase of (52). Data like (51) furthermore suggest that there may be more than one position in the preverbal field for the Spanish subject simultaneously, plausibly a CP-related position and a TP-related one (see Villa-García 2015: Ch. 3; 2018 and references therein for additional evidence to this effect and for relevant discussion surrounding the controversial analysis of preverbal subjects in Spanish-style languages).

Lastly, an important characteristic of recomplementation configurations both in English and Spanish is that the flanked topics strongly tend to be followed by an intonational break splitting the sandwiched phrase from the secondary complementizer (Villa-García 2015; Radford 2018). This prosodic boundary is represented in the examples throughout by means of a comma, except in those sentences coming from published sources whose authors did not include a comma in the original version. Martínez-Vera (in press) extensively discusses the Spanish recomplementation case, which involves the sandwiched dislocate followed by an I(ntonational)-phrase boundary and an intonational break. This author also investigates in detail the mapping from syntax to prosody in the context of recomplementation. As for the consequences of this prosodic boundary for the syntax of the relevant phrases, Villa-García (2015) takes this intonational break to correlate with base-generation (Bošković 2001 et seq.), which is congruent with the claim that secondary complementizers prevent extraction across them and thus only phrases externally merged in sandwiched position are allowed in the position in-between thats/ques (see also Martínez Vera in press).26,27 Although a generally shorter intonational break can be found with run-of-the-mill embedded dislocation, it is only in recomplementation cases, and, of course, in unambiguous cases of HTLD as well as in cases of orphaned topics (see fn. 3), that an intonational break seems obligatory.

4.6 Further similarities between English and Spanish: Other reduplicative complementizers

Villa-García (2015) notes that on occasion, instances of que in Spanish precede and follow parentheticals and other expressions, as in (54). Interestingly, Radford (2018: 124) furnishes similar examples in English, such as that in (53).

(53) (Ian Carter, BBC Radio 5)
  It just shows that, you know, that they have to pass the time.

    1. (54)
    1. Dice
    2. says
    1. que,
    2. that
    1. bueno,
    2. well
    1. que
    2. that
    1. no
    2. not
    1. está
    2. is
    1. segura.
    2. sure
    1. ‘S/he says that, well, that she is not sure.’

The examples above show that an element that is not a modifier or an argument of the embedded clause can occur in pre-secondary-that/que position. Such cases may not be instances of recomplementation per se, and instead constitute restarts, afterthoughts or simply concatenated discourse markers (see Section 6.2). Whatever the case may be, the existence of such examples highlights another parallelism between English and Spanish in the domain of multiple-that/que clauses. In fact, looking at the phenomenon of complementizer reduplication beyond that/que more generally, both Radford (2018: 175) and Villa-García (2015: 217) offer examples like the following, where the interrogative complementizer if/si is reduplicated:

(55) (Tim Vickery, BBC Radio 5)
  I wonder if, given time, if Ramírez can fulfil that sort of role for the club.

    1. (56)
    1. (Luis López p.c.)
    1. Marta
    2. Martha
    1. me
    2. CL.DAT
    1. preguntó
    2. asked
    1. si
    2. if
    1. a
    2. to
    1. la
    2. the
    1. fiesta,
    2. party
    1. si
    2. if
    1. voy
    2. go
    1. a
    2. to
    1. ir.
    2. go
    1. ‘Martha asked me whether I’m going to the party.’

The nature of the data in (55)/(56) is hitherto poorly understood, but again we are dealing with another clear parallelism between English and Spanish multiple-complementizer sentences. I now turn to some differences between the two languages, with the aim of determining whether the unified analysis of recomplementation pursued so far can be retained.

5 Differences between English and Spanish in the context of recomplementation

In this section I investigate some of the differences between English and Spanish in recomplementation environments, which could at first sight be taken to challenge the uniform account proposed here. However, under closer scrutiny, I show that such differences are unrelated to recomplementation configurations and should instead be credited to independent factors. For this reason, what follows aims to demonstrate that the differences below do not pose a threat to the unified syntactic account advanced in this paper. Our discussion will actually unearth further parallelisms between English and Spanish with respect to multiple-complementizer constructions.

5.1 Different force in the embedded complement

One aspect in which English and Spanish recomplementation differ concerns the force of the complement clause that follows the recomplementized sequence, depending on the interpretation. The upshot of this section is that since recomplementation occurs most frequently with verbs of communication, the nature of the embedded clause will depend on the embedding possibilities of the selecting predicate. As we will see, Spanish verbs of speaking are far more permissive than their English equivalents, and indeed allow not just declarative, but also desiderative/exhortative, interrogative, and exclamative complements. However, my claim will be that this has little to do with the phenomenon under scrutiny, and instead is owing to independent properties related to the types of verbs embedding subordinate clauses in the two languages.

5.1.1 Mood shifts – Subjunctive clauses

Spanish verbs of communication such as decir ‘to say’ are “promiscuous” in relation to their selecting properties, since they can combine with complements that take the subjunctive mood. Their meaning of course changes in such cases, and they are interpreted as desiderative or exhortative sentences. These mood shifts (Quer 2001) are observed in the context of multiple-que constructions, as the contrast in (57) and (58) demonstrates (Villa-García 2012; 2015).

    1. (57)
    1. a.
    1. Gritó
    2. shouted
    1. que,
    2. that
    1. como
    2. as
    1. los
    2. the
    1. británicos
    2. British
    1. negocian
    2. negotiate
    1. mal,
    2. badly
    1. que
    2. that
    1. se
    2. CL
    1. saldrán
    2. will-exit
    1. sin
    2. without
    1. acuerdo.
    2. agreement
    1.  
    1. b.
    1. Gritó
    2. shouted
    1. que,
    2. that
    1. como
    2. as
    1. los
    2. the
    1. británicos
    2. British
    1. negocian
    2. negotiate
    1. mal
    2. badly
    1. se
    2. CL
    1. saldrán
    2. will-exit
    1. sin
    2. without
    1. acuerdo.
    2. agreement
    1. Both: ‘S/he shouted that since the British don’t negotiate well, (that) they will leave (the EU) without an agreement in place.’
    1. (58)
    1. a.
    1.   Gritó
    2.   shouted
    1. que,
    2. that
    1. como
    2. as
    1. los
    2. the
    1. británicos
    2. British
    1. negocian
    2. negotiate
    1. mal,
    2. badly
    1. que
    2. that
    1. se
    2. CL
    1. salgan
    2. exitSUBJ
    1. sin
    2. without
    1. acuerdo.
    2. agreement
    1.    ‘S/he ordered by shouting that since they British do not negotiate well, that they leave (the EU) without an agreement in place.’
    1.  
    1. b.
    1. *Gritó
    2.   shouted
    1. que,
    2. that
    1. como
    2. as
    1. los
    2. the
    1. británicos
    2. British
    1. negocian
    2. negotiate
    1. mal
    2. badly
    1. se
    2. CL
    1. salgan
    2. exitSUBJ
    1. sin
    2. without
    1. acuerdo.
    2. agreement

First, (57) illustrates the familiar recomplementation configuration, with secondary que being in principle optional, as shown by the grammaticality (and equivalent truth conditions) of both sentences, on a par with their declarative force. On the other hand, the examples in (58) comprise a subjunctive verb, and the meaning must be paraphrased as ‘ordered/commanded/wished.’ Crucially, with the subjunctive and the verb of communication, which does not inherently subcategorize for a subjunctive complement, the low que becomes mandatory for speakers of many Spanish varieties (Villa-García in preparation), its absence resulting in an ill-formed outcome. Its obligatoriness may be the result of the fact that in Spanish, “jussive/optative” mood is homophonous with the subjunctive and is marked morphologically by means of subjunctive morphology together with the lexicalization of a mood head as que. Villa-García (2015) pursues this approach and provides a variety of arguments to the effect that “jussive/optative” que is different from recomplementation que and spells out Finitenessº, which Rizzi (1997) independently argues is responsible for the encoding of grammatical information such as mood. “Jussive/optative” que is akin to the (low) subjunctive complementizers cu (in the dialects of southern Italy) and (in Romanian). The analysis for medial and low que complementizers in Spanish is sketched in (59).

(59) … [ForceP [Force' that/que [TopicP dislocate [Topic' querecomplementation [FinitenessP [Finiteness' quejussive/optative … ]]]]]]

The question arises as to what extent English can do the same with its embedded complements. First, note that a sentence along the lines of (58) is not possible in English, as indicated by (60), which features a non-subjunctive-selecting verb.

(60) *He says that if terrorist attacks continue, that there be more arrests.

For one thing, say in English is not as versatile as Spanish decir and therefore cannot embed a subjunctive complement, and moreover, the subjunctive is much less frequent in English (particularly in spoken British English) than in Spanish. Similarly, as discussed by Radford (2018), whereas according to prescriptive grammars dropping that in subjunctive contexts is traditionally disallowed, recordings of colloquial English show that speakers are much more permissive in this regard. Not only do that-less subjunctive clauses occur in spoken English, but we even find examples in the press, as in (61). This suggests that there is a further difference between English and Spanish subjunctive clauses: dropping the complementizer is an option available in English, which is highly restricted in Spanish.28

(61) (The Independent, 10 July 2017)
  Brexit Secretary David Davis was also able to meet business leaders demanding Ø the UK stay in the single market immediately after leaving the EU.

An important question for our purposes is to what extent anything similar to (58) can be replicated for English. As a matter of routine, intrinsically-subjunctive-selecting predicates can embed a clause featuring a periphery with multiple complementizers, as shown in (62), which is amenable to an analysis along the lines of the one proposed for Spanish in (59).

(62) (Official university communication, Pennsylvania, 20 November 2013) (Radford 2018: 130; citing Villa-García 2015: 96)
  Please ensure that if your faculty commit to permitting candidates to attend their classes, that there be sufficient diversity of courses and that syllabi permit visitors to attend.

I therefore conclude that even though the complements below recomplementation in English and Spanish can differ, this has nothing to do with the phenomenon of multiple complementizers per se, and may instead be related to factors including the selectional restrictions of embedding predicates. In fact, the data just reviewed provide evidence that the other low complementizer in Spanish — “jussive/optative” que — may also be present in English (albeit much more uncommon, given the scarcity of subjunctive clauses in present-day spoken English, and their ability to be headed by null complementizers; it is therefore hardly surprising that the speakers consulted do not find the low instances of that mandatory in (62), although the version with the complementizer is much preferred).29 I now move on to interrogative clauses.

5.1.2 Interrogative clauses

Much like in the case of subjunctive clauses, a predicate like Spanish decir may as well take an interrogative complement understood as an indirect question (Plann 1982, inter alia), as indicated by the English paraphrase of (63), which involves a wh-item below secondary que.

    1. (63)
    1. Marta
    2. Martha
    1. me
    2. CL.DAT
    1. dijo
    2. said
    1. que
    2. that
    1. a
    2. DOM.ACC
    1. ella,
    2. her
    1. que
    2. that
    1. cuándo
    2. when
    1. la
    2. CL.ACC
    1. invitábamos.
    2. were-inviting
    1. ‘Martha asked me when we were going to invite her.’

A parallel sentence in English is totally out, as indicated by the ungrammaticality of (64).

(64) *Martha said to me that to the party, that when we would invite her.

The impossibility of such sentences in English may be due to the same reason for the ungrammaticality of the subjunctive sentences in the previous subsection: English verbs of communication cannot embed an interrogative complement. This is substantiated by data such as (38) (I hope that when they are adults that AT NO TIME will they forget the work that their parents put into their education); examples like this one point out that a focal element below secondary that is in principle legitimate. However, the fact that a wh-item (interpreted as a question) is not allowed suggests that the reason for its ungrammaticality is related to selection constraints imposed by the embedding communication predicate, not by the unavailability of the pertinent syntactic position.30 As noted by an anonymous reviewer, this begs the question of whether an inherently-wh-selecting verb allows for the configuration at issue. This is tested by (65).

(65) *Martha asked (me) that to the party, that/Ø when we would invite her.

The result is found unacceptable (though perhaps still marginally intelligible, unlike (64)) by linguistically-naïve consultants of both American and British English. This suggests that the reason for the impossibility of the that + XP + that + wh- construction in English is not due to the nature of the verb (communication vs. interrogative). Note that the example includes the option without secondary that (i.e., Ø), which is also ill-formed. Whatever the ultimate reason for the absence of this structure in English turns out to be, however, what is undeniable is that Spanish allows indirect questions to be introduced by que (Plann 1982; Uriagereka 1988), as in (66)a; by contrast, this construction is not an option in standard varieties of English, as in (66)b. As an anonymous reviewer points out, that in English is not a typical interrogative complementizer, while Spanish que is much more versatile and can be employed in many different contexts:

    1. (66)
    1. a.
    1. Hugo
    2. Hugo
    1. me
    2. CL.DAT
    1. preguntó
    2. asked
    1. que
    2. that
    1. cuándo
    2. when
    1. veníamos.
    2. would-come
    1. ‘Hugo asked me when we would come.’
    1.  
    1. b.
    1. *Hugo asked me that when we would come.

This indicates that in English the reportative value of the complementizer (assuming it bears one) is not identical that of its Spanish homolog (cf. see Section 5.2 for the existence of a root quotative que in Spanish that is lacking in English), hence the impossibility of sentences like (65)/(66)b.31 The reader should note that the issue arises even when recomplementation is not involved, as discussed in relation to (65). As mentioned above, a non-interrogative focal phrase can actually follow secondary that in English, which is suggestive that the issue is unrelated to the lack of the relevant functional projection in the left periphery (i.e., this is not due to a different left-peripheral map in English vs. Spanish). I now turn to exclamative complements.

5.1.3 Exclamative clauses

Subjunctive and interrogative complements are not the only options for the subordinated clauses selected by verbs of communication in Spanish. Exclamative sentences can also be featured under recomplementation with verbs like decir. This type of construction is shown in (67):

    1. (67)
    1. El
    2. the
    1. decano
    2. dean
    1. dijo
    2. said
    1. que
    2. that
    1. el
    2. the
    1. libro,
    2. book
    1. que
    2. that
    1. qué
    2. what
    1. extenso
    2. long
    1. era.
    2. was
    1. ‘The dean exclaimed that the book was very long.’

In English, the corresponding sentence is ungrammatical:

(68) *The dean said that the book, that how long it was.

Again, the impossibility of (68) could potentially be attributed to the inability of verbs like say to take complements encoding different specifications of force, rather than to English displaying a completely different type of recomplementation construction — or, more generally, a different left-peripheral architecture — than that found in Spanish. Interestingly, however, using an intrinsically-exclamative-selecting verb like exclaim does little to improve the acceptability of the sentence, as shown in (69).

(69) *The dean exclaimed that the book, that/Ø how long it was.

In analogous fashion to the case of interrogatives, even an embedded dislocate without secondary that (i.e., Ø) yields an ungrammatical result.32

5.2 High that/que

English and Spanish stand in glaring contrast to one another in relation to the possibility of having a null complementizer in complement clauses. Whereas English generally allows the complementizer to be absent, Spanish does not, as shown by (70). (Rodríguez-Ricelli 2018 notes that this construction is possible with thinking/judgment predicates in Los Angeles and Mexican Spanish; RAE-ASALE 2009: 3232 cites some examples from 17th-century Spanish where que is absent in cases akin to (70)b).

    1. (70)
    1. a.
    1. Hugo just said that/Ø you are his best friend.
    1.  
    1. b.
    1. Hugo
    2. Hugo
    1. acaba
    2. just
    1. de
    2. of
    1. decir
    2. say
    1. que/*Ø
    2. that
    1. eres
    2. are
    1. su
    2. his
    1. mejor
    2. best
    1. amigo.
    2. friend

Prescriptively, that cannot be omitted in English if left-peripheral constituents such as dislocates occur in the embedded clause (see Bošković & Lasnik 2003). However, Radford (2018: 131) reports numerous examples to the contrary. For instance, one such case is data consisting of recomplementized constituents preceded by a null (Ø) complementizer, as in (71).

(71) (Mark Chapman, BBC Radio 5)
  Arsène Wenger said Ø if a defensive midfield player becomes available, that they will be in for him.

Given (70)b, it follows that a Spanish sentence like (71) should be ungrammatical. This is borne out by the data in (72).

    1. (72)
    1. *Juan
    2.   John
    1. me
    2. CL.DAT
    1. contó
    2. told
    1. Ø
    2.  
    1. al
    2. to+the
    1. médico,
    2. doctor
    1. que
    2. that
    1. no
    2. not
    1. ha
    2. has
    1. ido.
    2. been
    1.    ‘Peter told me that he hasn’t been to the doctor.’

The data in (71) and (72) have important consequences for the analysis of recomplementation. Demonte & Fernández-Soriano (2014) claim that while they endorse Villa-García’s claim that recomplementation is dependent on a dislocated phrase in Spanish (see Section 2), it is also true that recomplementation can only occur in Spanish in the presence of a high que. The English data in (71) suggest that the overt realization of the highest head in the periphery (by assumption, Forceº) is not a sine qua non condition for secondary that to surface. Put another way, the lexicalization of the highest left-peripheral head in the clausal spine is not a requirement for lower that heads to be lexically realized. With respect to root clauses, Radford (2018) reports recomplementized dislocates as well, although these are much less frequent than embedded ones. This construction is exemplified in (73), from Radford (2018: 157) (see Campos 1992 for a similar pattern in Béarn Gascon). It is of note that this structure is rather odd and unacceptable by native speakers (incidentally, all the examples of this structure Radford notes come from the same broadcaster).

(73) (Tim Vickery, BBC Radio 5)
  These people who are gifted with those little bits of genius, that they have that about them.

Now, let us see what happens in root clauses in Spanish. As shown by the contrast in (74), only when a high que occurs can recomplementation que surface. Again, the presence of a high que is crucial for recomplementation to occur. In this case, we are dealing with a high quotative que (Etxepare 2010; 2013; among others), interpreted as a report of somebody’s speech.

    1. (74)
    1. a.
    1. ??*Con
    2.     with
    1. mi
    2. my
    1. hermana,
    2. sister
    1. que
    2. that
    1. no
    2. not
    1. hablan.
    2. talk
    1.  
    1. b.
    1.       Que
    2.       that
    1. con
    2. with
    1. mi
    2. my
    1. hermana,
    2. sister
    1. que
    2. that
    1. no
    2. not
    1. hablan.
    2. talk
    1.        ‘S/he-I-somebody say(s) that they don’t talk to my sister.’

The generalization which emerges from the English and the Spanish data just presented is that in English, a low that complementizer below a dislocate does not depend on the overtness of a high that (i.e., (that) XP that) whereas in Spanish, the (overt) presence of the second complementizer relies on the first one (i.e., *(que) XP que).

This parametric difference regarding the licensing of recomplementation that/que could be accounted for as follows. It would be possible to assume that Spanish recomplementation is a non-root phenomenon, and that it can only be licensed in subordinate contexts, which are generally headed by que. Note that quotative clauses heralded by que, (74)b, albeit appearing in matrix contexts, display features of embedding, in the sense that said sentences are sentential complements of an abstract quotative predicate; these include the use of the interrogative complementizer si ‘if’ and tense transposition. In this sense, therefore, they can be considered to be embedded clauses. If recomplementation is an embedded phenomenon, and embedding is usually signaled by an overt complementizer, then it follows that recomplementation que will appear under a (subordinating) high que (see also Villa-García 2015 for the prospect of head-to-head selection across left-peripheral heads). It may be the case that the (rather scarce) putative phenomenon of root recomplementation in English is an instantiation of a different construction altogether, which would explain its rarity (though see Radford 2018, who notes that (73) could be analyzed in parallel fashion to the embedded data in (71)). Thus, English recomplementation too may require a higher Forceº-like licensing head, which may remain silent, a PF option that is not available in Spanish (cf. (70)b).

Whatever the right analysis of the asymmetry brought to light here regarding the obligatoriness of high que in Spanish (but not of high that in English) and the correct account of its potential role in the licensing of recomplementation turn out to be, the TopicP account advocated here for both English and Spanish can be maintained. The proviso is that perhaps more general aspects of the left periphery determine the obligatory PF realization of the highest complementizer in Spanish embedded clauses, a condition that does not seem to be active in English (see Radford 2018 for the nature of that spell-out in English). In fact, as Radford (2018) rightly points out, the impossibility of having that as the first word in a root sentence in English (*That it’s snowing) is indicative that secondary complementizers in such contexts as recomplementation must be licensed by a superordinate constituent (i.e., a dislocate), as argued for in Section 2, which further substantiates the TopicP analysis of recomplementation pursued here. Villa-García (2015) postulates the existence of a similar constraint, dubbed the Filled-Spec Requirement, which posits that the specifier position of TopicP needs to be overtly lexicalized, thus preventing the realization of recomplementation que in the absence of a dislocate.33 In a more general sense, and in connection with the working mechanisms underlying the left periphery, Luigi Rizzi (p.c.) notes that the fact that Spanish recomplementation requires a high que demonstrates that a dependency must be expressed between the high complementizer and the non-high one, probably in the spirit of feature “circulation” across left-peripheral heads à la Rizzi (2013).

5.3 Ellipsis

Villa-García (2012; 2015; 2016) observes that ellipsis after recomplementation que is possible in TP-ellipsis-with-polarity-particle constructions in Spanish. This is exemplified in (75):

    1. (75)
    1. Dice
    2. Says
    1. que
    2. that
    1. a
    2. to
    1. Cádiz,
    2. Cádiz
    1. que
    2. that
    1. no
    2. not
    1. va,
    2. goes
    1. pero
    2. but
    1. que
    2. that
    1. a
    2. to
    1. Jerez,
    2. Jerez
    1. que
    2. that
    1. yes
    1. [va].
    2.  
    1. ‘S/he says that s/he’s not going to Cádiz, but that she’ll go to Jerez.’

This pattern involves a contrastive topic acting as the remnant of ellipsis, optionally followed by recomplementation que, and a (focal) licensor such as sí/ no/ también/ tampoco/ de ninguna manera… (‘yes/ no/ also/ (n)either/ on no account…’), contingent on the polarity of the antecedent clause (Villa-García 2016). As is well known, English lacks TP-ellipsis with a polarity particle, so replicating (75) is not viable, as shown by (76).

(76) *Mary says that to Cádiz, that she is not going, but that to Jerez, that yes.

The closest equivalent to Spanish TP ellipsis in English would be VP ellipsis, as in (77).

(77) ??Mary says that Peter, that/Ø she won’t invite him, but that John, that/Ø she will [invite him].

Contrived as (77) is, it is still less deviant than (76). As an anonymous reviewer notes, left-dislocation in English does not tend to be employed for the expression of contrast. In this example, the contrastive reading comes from the presence of but. This may at least be one factor influencing the degradation of (77), whose counterpart without that2 (Ø) has the same acceptability status. The contrast between (76) and (77) points out that the differences observed between elliptical clauses in the context of recomplementation in English and Spanish are not due to recomplementation per se; rather, such differences are rooted in the different ellipsis operations available in each language (TP ellipsis in Spanish and VP ellipsis in English), irrespective of recomplementation. In this connection, Andrew Radford (p.c.) notes that non-recomplementized preposed DPs yield better results in VP ellipsis contexts, as shown by (78). The fact that (78) is more acceptable than (77) suggests that speakers may find recomplementation sentences generally wordier, which also happens with respect to the Spanish examples.34

(78) Mary says that Peter, she might go out with, but that a bastard like Fred, she most certainly would not [go out with].

The overall conclusion arising from the preceding discussion is that the availability of ellipsis is not dependent on the presence vs. absence of recomplementation.

5.4 Sí-que sequences

Villa-García & González-Rodríguez (in preparation) show that the emphatic sí que ‘yes that’ construction (Hernanz 2007; Batllori & Hernanz 2013; among others) can be preceded by a recomplementized topic, as in (79). The function of the sí-que sequence seems to be that of underpinning the speaker’s commitment to the truth of the proposition.

    1. (79)
    1. Me
    2. CL.DAT
    1. contó
    2. told
    1. que
    2. that
    1. a
    2. to
    1. Tucson,
    2. Tucson
    1. que
    2. that
    1. yes
    1. que
    2. that
    1. van
    2. go
    1. a
    2. to
    1. venir.
    2. come
    1. ‘S/he told me that they are certainly coming to Tucson.’

Clearly, English lacks a direct equivalent:

(80) *She told me that despite the new President, that yes that they are going to move to the States.

Nevertheless, English has the means of expressing the same idea in a different fashion (e.g., by means of adverbs), as indicated by (81).

(81) She told me that despite the new President, that they are definitely going to move to the States.

Again, this apparent asymmetry between English and Spanish is unrelated to recomplementation; it is caused by the availability (or lack thereof) of independent grammatical mechanisms.35

5.5 The issue of selection

A perennial issue in discussions on the structural geometry of the left periphery as well as in the literature on complementation is the problem of selection. After all, the configuration of the left periphery of an embedded clause is to a large extent determined by the selectional properties of the embedding predicate. As noted in Section 5.1, whereas a verb like decir in Spanish can select virtually any complement clause that may in turn display a varied left periphery, a factive verb is more limited in its selection properties, disallowing, for instance, recomplementation (Demonte & Fernández-Soriano 2009; de Cuba & MacDonald 2013; Villa-García 2015; among others), as (82) shows. According to de Cuba & MacDonald (2013), predicates including factives select a CP that lacks the full inventory of projections necessary to permit recomplementation.36

    1. (82)
    1. *Lamenta
    2.   laments
    1. que
    2. that
    1. a
    2. DOM.ACC
    1. tu
    2. your
    1. padre,
    2. father
    1. que
    2. that
    1. no
    2. not
    1. lo
    2. CL.ACC
    1. hayan
    2. haveSUBJ
    1. invitado.
    2. invited
    1.    ‘S/he laments that your father has not been invited.’

English factive clauses featuring recomplementation are exemplified by the examples in (83), kindly provided by Jonathan Bobaljik (p.c.), who finds no contrast between the sentences in (83) and their non-factive counterparts (the judgment is shared by Andrew Radford):

(83) a. I realize that this flighti, that I’m going to miss iti if I keep writing this email.
  b. I’m sorry that the little dogi, that I didn’t play with iti enough.

The conclusion to be drawn from the data presented here is that whereas recomplementation is not readily available under factives in Spanish, it is possible in English; as a result, it would be far from unreasonable to make the assumption that factives in English embed a complement with a left periphery that differs from that of the equivalent verb types in Spanish, with only the former freely allowing recomplementation.

In light of our discussion regarding verbs of communication in 5.1, which indicates that the same verb in English and Spanish (i.e., a verb that is generally considered to be a translation equivalent) may display different selection properties, it is scarcely surprising that a verb that is apparently the same in English and Spanish manifests distinct selectional constraints in each language, thus allowing recomplementation in some cases but not in others (e.g., factive complements in English are compatible with recomplementation that, but not in Spanish). Pending new advances and empirical evidence bearing on the types of predicates that can subcategorize for a clause containing a periphery that can include recomplementized dislocates, I conclude this subsection by noting that in principle English and Spanish recomplementation constructions use the same grammatical tools, potential differences being due to factors other than the design of the left periphery (e.g., the idiosyncratic selectional properties of verbs in each language). Similarly, it is of note that such selectional restrictions are subject to much inter-speaker variation (Radford 2016; 2018). Whatever the case may be, this is not to underestimate the relevance of selection in left-peripheral matters, an issue that future research should address (see González i Planas 2014: 44–47 for much relevant discussion).

More generally, the asymmetries manifested by English and Spanish in the context of recomplementation configurations appear to be attributable to independent factors. This means that these differences do not pose a threat to the unified TopicP analysis pursued here, and in actuality our review of the foregoing asymmetries has revealed additional parallelisms between the two languages with regard to double-complementizer constructions, such as the existence of Finitenessº that/que in both English and Spanish. In the following section, I turn to an investigation of the reasons why the phenomenon of recomplementation exists.

6 Why does recomplementation exist?

Although most proposals in the literature have focused on the syntactic analysis of recomplementation constructions in an attempt to determine what they can tell us about the structure of the traditional CP domain alongside locality of movement, an important question arises as to why such constructions exist at all. In what follows, I will note the main proposals as to the function of reduplicative complementizers and advance the view that recomplementizers play a role in the marking of discourse. My claim will be that the different functions assigned to multiple thats/ques are actually not incompatible; it may be the case that secondary that and secondary que are multifunctional complementizers able to discharge various functions.

6.1 Previously identified functions

Recomplementation has been claimed to be a reinforcement of Force (Martín-González 2002; Demonte & Fernández-Soriano 2014), a topic marker (Paoli 2006; Villa-García 2012; 2015), a quotative marker (González i Planas 2014), and a processing marker (Casasanto & Sag 2008). In what follows, I explore the possibility that secondary that/que can also perform the role of discourse marker.

6.2 Discourse marker

A proposal that I would like to introduce here is that one of the roles of recomplementation that/que is that of being able to function as a discourse particle. As noted by Wiltschko & Heim (2014), discourse markers signal a relationship between the element they introduce (i.e., the embedded clause) and the prior segment (i.e., the dislocated material). Interestingly, the dislocate featured in recomplementation patterns is somewhat external to the clause, as argued above. As a discourse marker, the recomplementation complementizer is not propositional (i.e., it does not change the truth value of the clause) and resembles a parenthetical. In the words of Brinton (1996: 267), discourse markers serve to “reveal or make explicit those connections already operating in texts.” Discourse markers are also said to be multifunctional (Hansen 1998, inter alia), a feature that can be ascribed to recomplementation complementizers, as I claim in this paper. Hansen (1998: 236) points out that “semantically, markers are best seen as processing instructions intended to aid the hearer in integrating the unit hosting the marker into a coherent mental representation of the unfolding discourse.” The fact that recomplementation que is preceded by a prosodic boundary, as noted in Section 4.5.1, is wholly compatible with this role, and, as noted, recomplementation has been claimed to aid processing.37 Although many definitions of discourse markers have been put forward, authors including Maj-Britt Mosegaard Hansen (p.c.) define them as elements that have a connective function, which secondary that/que can be said to perform.38 What is more, secondary complementizers can co-occur with unambiguous discourse markers such as pues ‘then/thus’ in Spanish (Villa-García 2015), as shown in (84) (note that discourse markers are known to cluster in many languages).

    1. (84)
    1. Dice
    2. says
    1. que
    2. that
    1. como
    2. as
    1. no
    2. not
    1. hay
    2. have
    1. dinero,
    2. money
    1. pues
    2. then
    1. que
    2. that
    1. no
    2. not
    1. va
    2. goes
    1. a
    2. to
    1. ir.
    2. go
    1. ‘S/he says that since there is no money, that s/he is not going.’

Consider the naturally-occurring English sentence in (85). In this example, the dislocated if-clause is followed by an unambiguous discourse marker —then. If spoken, then would most likely be preceded by an intonational boundary.

(85) (Electronic university communication, UK, 20 June 2017)
  She has advised that if you scale the final marks then the students won’t see the individual component.

Now, it would be possible to manipulate (85) and create a similar sentence, with equivalent meaning, but with a reduplicative instance of that. As (86) shows, the meaning stays basically the same, and that performs a connective function, in much the same way as then. Put differently, if recomplementation that can fulfill a discourse-marking function, then it should be able to be replaced by a bona fide discourse marker (cf. (85) and (86)).

(86) She has advised that if you scale the final marks, that the students won’t see the individual component.

Likewise, it is important to note that since discourse markers can co-occur in many languages, we should in principle be able to see different discourse-marking elements together. This is confirmed by (87), which resembles what happens in the Spanish case (cf. (84)).

(87) She has advised that if you scale the final marks, that then the students won’t see the individual component.

Lastly, as expected, a genuine discourse particle can precede secondary that. In other words, discourse markers can be flanked by thats. This is shown by (88).

(88) (http://whisper.sh)
  Learning that in the end, that you already lost your love for her a while ago is more painful.

Spanish also allows this possibility, as the data in (89) indicate ((89)b has been taken from González i Planas 2014: 47; see also the examples in Section 4.6).

    1. (89)
    1. a.
    1. Me
    2. CL.DAT
    1. gritó
    2. shouted
    1. que
    2. that
    1. al
    2. at+the
    1. final,
    2. end
    1. que
    2. that
    1. no
    2. not
    1. iban
    2. go
    1. a
    2. to
    1. pagar.
    2. pay
    1. ‘S/he shouted at me that in the end, that they won’t pay.’
    1.  
    1. b.
    1. Sabemos
    2. know
    1. que
    2. that
    1. tu
    2. your
    1. mujer,
    2. wife
    1. pues
    2. then
    1. eso,
    2. that
    1. que
    2. that
    1. no
    2. not
    1. nos
    2. CL.DAT
    1. quiso
    2. wanted
    1. abrir
    2. open
    1. la
    2. the
    1. puerta.
    2. door
    1. ‘We know that your wife… Well, she refused to open the door and let us in.’

Discourse markers tend to mark the resumption of a topic after a digression (Hansen 1998). In the context of recomplementation clauses, it could be argued that secondary complementizers resume a sentence after topical material has been introduced. This seems particularly useful if the topical element is long or internally complex, consonant with the proposal noted above that such complementizers can be processing markers (see Radford 2018 for relevant discussion regarding the length of the flanked dislocate). Furthermore, it is well known that discourse particles are usually drawn from categories such as conjunctions (Fraser 1999) and that they are grammatically optional (Hansen 1998). Recomplementation that and recomplementation que manifest both characteristics. Another property attributed to discourse markers is that they tend to be oral rather than written (Brinton 1996: 33–35), which is precisely the case of recomplementation that/que (although not invariably so, as has been seen). All in all, recomplementation que embodies various features pointing to its status as a discourse marker.39 Regardless, the analysis of discourse markers remains debated in the literature, with some discourse markers being less prototypical than others (Jucker 2002).

Although a full categorization of recomplementation that/que as markers of discourse needs to be carried out and the current proposal remains speculative, the ability of reduplicative complementizers to function as discourse markers gains plausibility in light of the evidence adduced here.40

6.3 A polyvalent element

The different functions identified by existing research on the topic of recomplementation — and the additional one presented in the previous section — are not necessarily mutually exclusive. For instance, while a doubled that/que may be a “reminder” of the force of the embedded clause — and thus a subordinator, as it were, at the same time it can delimit the topic field (or just signal a topical element) and indicate that the upcoming elements form part of the comment (in the topic-comment articulation established by the topical phrase and the material below it), serve as a marker of quotation, and connect the discourse.

The prospect that a single complementizer may serve more than one function in the same realization is independently corroborated by the following data, where the same que complementizer realizes more than one single function. Suppose that speaker A utters (90):

    1. (90)
    1. ¡Cómprala!
    2. buy-CL.ACC
    1. ‘BuySG it!’

Now, speaker B, who is A’s interlocutor, has not heard or understood (90) properly. Speaker B then says something equivalent to Sorry? or What?. Interlocutor A, trying to clarify, exclaims (91).

    1. (91)
    1. ¡Que
    2. that
    1. la
    2. CL.ACC
    1. compres!
    2. buySUBJ
    1. ‘I said that you should buy it. / I recommend/demand that you buy it.’

(91) instantiates root jussive/optative clauses (see Section 5.1.1). Interestingly, it also exemplifies the quotative construction of Etxepare (2010), since the sentence in (91) is interpreted as a command/wish on the part of speaker A. Critically, however, que is obligatory for most speakers, as would be expected if we are dealing here with jussive/optative que. That que needs to be overt in this case is shown by (92), which is the ill-formed que-less counterpart of (91).

    1. (92)
    1. *¡La
    2.   CL.ACC
    1. compres!
    2. buySUBJ

Note that regular quotative sentences which do not involve jussive/optative interpretations are still grammatical in the absence of the quotative element, as shown by (93)c.

    1. (93)
    1. a.
    1. Speaker A:
    1. Ha
    2. has
    1. muerto
    2. died
    1. el
    2. the
    1. dictador.
    2. dictator
    1. ‘The dictator has died.’
    1.  
    1. b.
    1. Speaker B:
    1. ¿Cómo?
    2. how
    1. ‘What?’
    1.  
    1. c.
    1. Speaker A:
    1. (Que)
    2. that
    1. ha
    2. has
    1. muerto
    2. died
    1. el
    2. the
    1. dictador.
    2. dictator
    1. ‘(I said that) the dictator has died.’

This example demonstrates that whereas the presence of que would be the most natural response to speaker B’s question, it is still possible to drop it. This is not possible in (92), however, indicating that one of the functions performed by this que, namely that of a jussive/optative marker serving to lexicalize the subjunctive (or jussive/optative) mood, requires the overt realization of que.

The existence of polyvalent ques lends plausibility to the analysis of peripheral heads as conflated projections, which started with Rizzi’s (1997) contention that in the absence of left-peripheral phrases such as topics and foci, ForceP and FinitenessP could effectively be conflated into a single projection, CP or FFP (ForceFinitenessP), presumably for reasons of economy of projections (see Section 3). In the particular case illustrating the polyvalence of complementizers in Spanish just reviewed, both QuotativeP and FinitenessP appear in a single projection, which bears features relevant to both quotation and mood, with the head of this projection being ultimately spelled out as que (Villa-García 2015). These facts are also relevant to the aforementioned proposal of feature transmission across CP heads.

7 Conclusions and outstanding questions

This paper took as its point of departure the colloquial phenomenon of recomplementation in English and Spanish. A number of syntactic and distributional similarities between recomplementation in English and its Spanish homolog have been brought to light. First, both English and Spanish recomplementation structures require a (base-generated) dislocated phrase in the position flanked by overt complementizers, the second of which is routinely preceded by a prosodic boundary in the two languages. Second, the distribution of reduplicative that and that of reduplicative que have been shown to be similar: there can be iterative instances of the complementizers, there can be multiple dislocates in sandwiched position, there can be dislocates below the secondary complementizer, and foci can occur below — but not above — recomplementation that/que. Likewise, both English and Spanish recomplementation configurations induce a locality-of-movement problem banning extraction across that2/que2. The strong parallelisms between the two constructions led me to propose a unified account of the phenomenon in the two languages, namely a TopicP analysis within Rizzi’s articulated left periphery, which in turn suggests that the peripheries of the two languages are not as different as they may appear to be at first glance. As Luigi Rizzi (p.c.) observes, the multiple occurrence of complementizers along the left periphery is of paramount importance for the analysis of the CP space, since the very presence of various distinct complementizers in different positions demonstrates the existence of different left-peripheral heads.

Similarly, the syntactic behavior of dislocates in recomplementation contexts leads to far-reaching consequences for the analysis of preposed phrases in both English and Spanish, with direct merge in the left-peripheral position in between thats/ques being the only option available for flanked constituents. As noted by Luigi Rizzi (p.c.), recomplementation environments are crucial, because the behavior of flanked constituents calls for a reconsideration of the traditional characterization of CLLDs. The discussion has also contributed novel data to an ongoing discussion regarding the controversial status of preverbal subjects in Spanish.

I have also investigated a number of seeming asymmetries between the phenomena in the two languages, relating to issues such as the force of the embedded clause, ellipsis, selection, and the (non-)obligatoriness of the high that/que, among others. Conversely, I have shown that these differences are independent of recomplementation, and instead are due to the different syntactic and lexico-semantic properties of English and Spanish. Consequently, the differences noted throughout do not pose a challenge to the uniform account proposed here and in fact our exploration of the differences has revealed yet additional commonalities between English and Spanish recomplementation.

In the last part of the paper, I mentioned the different functions attributed to recomplementation complementizers in the literature to date, and concluded that reduplicative that/que can perform several functions, even concurrently. In addition to roles such as topic marker and reinforcement of force, my proposal has been that recomplementation thats/ques can function as discourse markers.

There are some outstanding issues related to the phenomenon of recomplementation in English and Spanish that future research should care to address. One aspect is the issue of whether the presence or absence of that/que is merely a PF decision, as discussed in Section 4.5 (for much related discussion, see Villa-García, in preparation). Similarly, selection remains an open question, and so is the issue of productivity or left-peripheral activity. Regarding this last aspect, it is a well-accepted claim that Romance languages such as Spanish make extensive use of the left periphery, which contrasts starkly with languages displaying severe restrictions on the number of items that can occur in the periphery (e.g., V2 languages). Notwithstanding that English is not a V2 language, dislocation operations are still more marked in English than in Spanish, with perhaps the exception of dislocated adjunct adverbials and clauses (see Section 2). For this reason alone, one would predict recomplementation phenomena to be more common in Spanish than in English, although it is also true that recomplementation constructions featuring dislocated adjuncts and adverbial clauses are by far the most common pattern found in present-day spoken English (Radford 2018). In the absence of comparative quantitative data to support this claim, little can be concluded about the frequency of double-complementizer configurations in the speech of speakers of the two languages. Whatever the case may be, it seems reasonable to assume in light of the body of evidence adduced in this paper that the mechanisms to allow recomplementation constructions are in place in both present-day English and Spanish. The related issue of dialectal microvariation in terms of the availability of recomplementation cannot be ignored either.

Likewise, although the TopicP analysis has been claimed to have little to say about locality, fortunately, advances regarding the explanation for the locality issue with Spanish secondary que which are compatible with a TopicP analysis have been made in the literature (see, especially, Martínez-Vera in press). Several questions still require an answer in this regard, including the clausematehood effect with sandwiched phrases as well as whether the claims made for Spanish and English hold for recomplementation constructions crosslinguistically.

Lastly, as noted by an anonymous reviewer, future work should investigate in more depth the possible relationship between recomplementation and the type of topic featured in flanked position beyond the CLLD/HTLD distinction. In this sense, Frascarelli & Hinterhölzl’s (2007) and Bianchi & Frascarelli (2010) distinguish between a(boutness) topics, c(ontrastive) topics, and g(ivenness or familiar) topics, which have been claimed to manifest different semantic and distributional properties from each other. A preliminary survey suggests that all these categories can occur in sandwiched position (Jiménez-Fernández & Villa-García in preparation), but much work remains to be undertaken in this regard. Be that as it may, recomplementation can shed light on the much-debated issue of where different types of topics occur in the left periphery, especially, when various topics occur concurrently (see Jiménez-Fernández 2011).

While we await a full answer to the questions posed throughout, I hope to have contributed to the crosslinguistic characterization of the phenomenon of recomplementation in English and Spanish and, more generally, to the mapping of the complex structure of the CP in the two languages.

Notes

1I will not concern myself here with the issue of microvariation regarding the availability of recomplementation. As far as English is concerned, the data used (both from published sources and from native-speaker judgments) come from speakers of different varieties (namely American, British and Canadian English). As for Spanish, the data mainly concern Iberian Spanish. There is discrepancy in the literature in relation to the availability of recomplementation in Latin American Spanish varieties. Whereas Demonte & Fernández-Soriano (2009) claim that this phenomenon can be found across the Spanish-speaking world, Martínez-Vera (in press) contends that overt que is not an option in Latin American varieties. Further research will determine the exact extent of diatopic variation in terms of recomplementation (see Villa-García in preparation).

2A reviewer notes that (5)e is only marginally acceptable for him/her. The speakers consulted, from different parts of Spain, fully accept argumental PPs in flanked position, and the relevant construction occurs in naturalistic speech. This indicates that there may be dialectal variation in terms of which constituents are flankeable. In this regard, Fontana (1993) mentions the fact that for the speakers of present-day Spanish he consulted, only dislocated adverbial clauses are licit in recomplementation contexts. This again confirms that the phenomenon is subject to micro-variation, a task that future research should undertake (see Villa-García in preparation, for further discussion).

3Radford (2018: Ch. 2) also includes orphaned topics, which are topics that are neither connected to a gap nor to a resumptive, and are allegedly base-generated on the clausal left edge (along the lines of left-dislocations). Moreover, orphaned topics are only pragmatically associated with the clause they are related to. As far as I can tell, such examples also exist in Spanish. (i)a, from Radford (2018: 42), and (i)b illustrate this construction for the two languages at stake (it seems that these dislocates require an ever longer intonational break than that found in the case of hanging topics).

    1. (i)
    1. a.
    1. (Alan Green, BBC Radio 5)
    2. Defoe, even I could have scored that goal.

    1.  
    1. b.
    1. María,
    2. Mary
    1. yo
    2. I
    1. no
    2. not
    1. me
    2. CL
    1. hubiese
    2. had
    1. casado
    2. married
    1. con
    2. with
    1. un
    2. an
    1. inútil.
    2. inept
    1. ‘Mary, I would have not married a useless man.’

4The examples provided throughout include embedded HTLDs, as in (7), which directly refutes a common claim made since the work of Cinque (1983) that hanging topics are confined to matrix clauses. Common as this contention is, however, current research on Main Clause Phenomena (MCP) agrees that some embedded clauses have a root-like status (Heycock 2006; Bianchi & Frascarelli 2010; Jiménez-Fernández 2018; inter alia). As noted by an anonymous reviewer, the prediction is that Root Transformations (in the sense of Emonds 1969) or MCP (in the sense of Haegeman 2012) must be available in this type of root-like embedded clause. This prediction is borne out, as shown by examples (7) and (9). See Hooper & Thompson (1973) for all types of embedded clauses.

5The intuition that four native speakers, one of American English and two of British English, claim they have regarding (10)b is that something is missing in the presence of secondary that. Then they go on to fix the sentence by adding a resumptive, thus effectively making it (10)a (i.e., they turn the relevant construction into a HTLD). This may well be an instantiation of a “rescue-by-resumption” strategy to salvage an otherwise crashing derivation.

6Of course, this qualification assumes that topicalization is a type of dislocation, which is not necessarily the case, as it could be a type of focus (see De Cat 2007 and references therein).

7The claim is not that all adjunct clauses are obligatorily merged externally clause initially. For instance, Bhatt & Pancheva (2007) show that at least some clause-initial if-clauses need to be derived from a clause-internal position. They also show evidence that in some cases if-clauses are base-generated, which is the derivational option available in recomplementation configurations. I return to conditional clauses in the context of interest in Section 4.5.1.

8The reader should note that the recomplementation Cs that and que cannot be fully assimilated to the Gungbe topic marker , which can occur in root clauses and does not require a higher element to be licensed, unlike recomplementation que (see Section 5.2). I would like to thank an anonymous reviewer and Giuliano Bocci (p.c.) for bringing this issue to my attention.

9See Casielles-Suárez (1997) for evidence that dislocated bare nominals in Spanish should be analyzed as CLLDs despite the lack of an attending clitic (see also Arregui 2003).

10Villa-García (2012; 2015) actually argues that non-recomplementation CLLD arises via movement, à la López (2009), whereas recomplementation CLLD is derived via external merge in between complementizers (see Section 4.5).

11For dislocated subjects, the resumptive may be a null category (pro), or the rich verbal inflections, which have been analyzed in certain works as incorporated pronouns (see Villa-García 2018 for relevant discussion).

12Received wisdom is that hanging topics come first in a sequence of preposed phrases in the left periphery, as they are “external” to the clause (and in fact the real clausal element is the resumptive/epithet). Consequently, HTLDs (yo) precede CLLDs (conmigo), as illustrated by the contrasting examples in (i).

    1. (i)
    1. a.
    1. Yo,
    2. me
    1. conmigo
    2. with+me
    1. que
    2. that
    1. no
    2. not
    1. cuenten.
    2. countSUBJ
    1. ‘As for me, they shouldn’t count on me.’

    1.  
    1. b.
    1. *Conmigo, yo que no cuenten.

HTLDs constitute strong islands blocking extraction across them, as noted by Cinque & Rizzi (2010). It is therefore not surprising that dislocates that may be derived by movement (or foci) follow hanging topics in the periphery. However, that HTLDs always precede the rest of the material is challenged by Radford’s (2018) English data, including (12) above (and advance warning that from midnight tonight, the A3 in Surreyi iti’s going to be closed) or by the naturally occurring Spanish multiple-que sentence in (ii):

    1. (ii)
    1. Que
    2. that
    1. si
    2. if
    1. no,
    2. not
    1. que
    2. that
    1. yoi,
    2. I
    1. que
    2. that
    1. no
    2. not
    1. cuenten
    2. countSUBJ
    1. conmigoi.
    2. with+me
    1. ‘S/he-I said that as for me, if X doesn’t happen, that they shouldn’t count on me.’

Note that either the generalization that hanging topics are always the highest element in the periphery is wrong, or perhaps no problem arises when the preceding constituents are also base-generated, which is my claim for sandwiched dislocates (including hanging topics, CLLDs, and dislocated adjuncts), thus not causing any locality problem and enabling them to occur higher than a bona fide instance of HTLD.

13Radford (2018) provides data showing that, on occasion, examples of wh-exclamatives and wh-interrogatives (especially complex ones) are followed by an instance of that in non-standard spontaneous English data, even in root contexts. In Spanish varieties, by contrast, que cannot follow an interrogative, with the notable exception of cómo que (lit. how that – ‘how come’), though it can typically follow a wh-exclamative phrase in both root and embedded contexts (Romance varieties such as Brazilian Portuguese and Canadian French can exhibit an instance of the complementizer immediately after some wh-phrases). Whether this is a focus marker is an open question (see Ledgeway 2005 for this phenomenon in different Romance varieties of Italy). Although this paper concentrates on topical recomplementation, i.e., sandwiched dislocation, the issue of which left-peripheral heads can be spelled out by that/que is a matter that deserves further attention (see Villa-García in preparation, for the different Cº realization possibilities across Spanish varieties and Romance, and for discussion of the parameterization of Cº lexicalizations).

14I will not explore the controversial issue of whether TopicP can be projected under FocusP, as originally claimed for Italian by Rizzi (1997) but later called into question by several authors (e.g., Benincà & Poletto 2004 and Poletto & Zanuttini 2013). At any rate, this is not the case in non-Caribbean Spanish varieties, where one of the hallmarks of focus is adjacency with the verbal cluster.

15As noted in passing in Section 2, the analysis furnished in the bracketed structures throughout is a visual simplification in that different topic-related projections may exist à la Benincà & Poletto (2004). The heads of said topical projections can be lexicalized as that/que. Therefore, the structures provided should not be taken to imply that constituents such as HTLDs, adjuncts/modifiers, and CLLDs necessarily target the same flanked position; the claim is rather that the relevant specifier positions can only be occupied by dislocated phrases which, furthermore, must be base-generated there.

16Data like those provided below are partly based on Radford (2018) for English, and on Villa-García (2015) for Spanish. However, neither author draws a systematic comparison between the two languages, which is the purpose of this section.

17An anonymous reviewer points out that a note is in order regarding multiple combinations of topics in English and Spanish. Haegeman (2012) has shown that multiple-topic combinations in English cannot involve preposed arguments, but are restricted to argument + adjunct combinations (see also the references cited therein). Interestingly, Romance languages do not observe this restriction, in that multiple argumental topics can co-exist in the same periphery. In the published Radford corpus data, English multiple-topic examples adhere to this constraint.

18As noted by an anonymous reviewer, there seems to be variation regarding the acceptability of (41)b, which should be assigned a ?. For some speakers, crossing a dislocated phrase does not yield a perfect sentence.

19Note that not all speakers of English and Spanish accept sentences featuring dislocated anaphors.

20I am obviously ignoring regular that-t effects here, which relate to subject extraction.

21As noted by an anonymous reviewer, data such as (32) in Section 4.2, which exhibit the que-XP1-XP2-XP3-que pattern, prima facie cast doubt on the claim made by Villa-García and Martínez-Vera that when recomplementation que does not surface, this is because movement of the dislocated phrase has taken place. In principle, the dislocated phrases XP1 and XP2 should be base-generated in (32), on a par with XP3, since the low que below XP3 is a barrier for movement, and yet XP1 and XP2 do not occur with a concomitant secondary complementizer. There are two options for the derivation of such XPs. On the one hand, it could be the case that, as claimed by Martín-González (2002), both the base-generation derivation and the movement derivation are available for regular CLLDs in Spanish. This option would of course counter the claim that the absence of secondary que correlates with movement (see also the discussion in MacDonald 2015). This move would in principle freely allow for the deployment of dislocated phrases such as CLLDs through either move or merge. It is of note that the option of having a base-generated dislocate without recomplementation is available at least in Latin American varieties of Spanish; see Martínez-Vera (in press) for empirical arguments. On the other hand, it would be possible to assume that adjacent XPs without intervening overt heads are all housed in multiple specifiers of a phrase headed by recomplementation que, as hinted at in Section 4.2. Further research will determine if either of these solutions offers a definitive answer to this issue (see fn. 12 for much relevant evidence and discussion).

22See Villa-García (2012; 2015) for details of the claim that flanked non-HTLD dislocates can check case and theta roles at a distance, on the assumption that theta-roles are features that can be checked from a higher position (Bošković & Takahashi 1998).

23Formally, tense dependencies between protasis and apodosis confirm that in the case of recomplementized if-clauses, these are connected to the clause in whose CP they occur, not to the lowest one:

(i) a.    Mary told me that if I were rich she thinks I would buy a house.
  b. ??Mary told me that if I were rich, that she thinks I would buy a house.
  c.    Mary told me that if I were rich, that she would think I would buy a house.

24(52) improves considerably if a prolonged intonational break occurs between Guiti and él (the same actually holds for (50)b). It seems that in these cases we may be dealing with two separate sentences or an afterthought.

25There is some disagreement in the literature regarding the obligatoriness of reconstruction for Condition C, but discussion of this issue here would take us too far afield. In any case, López (2009) shows that dislocated subjects in Spanish do not display reconstruction effects regardless of recomplementation, suggesting that they align with HTLDs, rather than with CLLDs (see also Villa-García 2015).

26Note that a seeming problem for the TopicP analysis of recomplementation according to which the specifier position of TopicP houses the flanked element is that the specifier and the head are normally separated from each other by an intonational break (Bayer & Dasgupta 2016; Radford 2018). This could be taken as evidence militating against such an analysis, and instead argue for an account wherein the two elements at stake occupy different projections (e.g., the specifier of TopicP and the head of FinitenessP, respectively). Nonetheless, this problem vanishes for two reasons: first, as noted by Radford (2018), the local licensing relation between that and the XP immediately preceding it suggests that they are in a spec-head configuration. As Radford (2018) points out, for some speakers, only an adverbial can occur in recomplementation, but not a DP dislocate (see Fontana 1993 for a similar claim about present-day Spanish; see also fn. 2). Similarly, as pointed out by Željko Bošković (p.c.), the fact that two elements belong to two different intonational phrase boundaries does not mean that they are in different projections. This is corroborated by English examples such as Mary, who I met yesterday, does not like Udine, where the standard analysis places Mary in the specifier of a TP headed by does, despite the non-restrictive relative clause appearing in the sentence, with the ensuing breaks in intonation.

27The prosodic marking of non-recomplementized topics has been studied by Feldhausen (2016) and references therein.

28The complementizer in Spanish can be absent in highly formal contexts involving inherently-subjunctive-selecting predicates, as in (i), which could be found in a formal letter (see, e.g., Torrego 1983):

    1. (i)
    1. Rogamos
    2. plead
    1. Ø
    2.  
    1. nos
    2. CL.DAT
    1. comuniquen
    2. communicate
    1. su
    2. your
    1. asistencia
    2. attendance
    1. por
    2. by
    1. escrito.
    2. writing
    1. ‘We ask you to please confirm your attendance in writing.’

29Haegeman (2007) has argued that subjunctives and topicalization are incompatible in English, as shown in (i), from Hooper & Thompson (1973: 485):

(i) *It is important that the book he study __ carefully.

The possibility of having dislocated material between thats in subjunctive contexts, as indicated by examples like (62), shows that we are dealing here with a dislocated constituent, and not with a topicalized one, since the topicalization operation is independently ruled out in subjunctives, as shown by (i) (see also Section 2 and Section 4.5 on the impossibility of topicalized material in between thats).

30This is under the assumption adopted by Rizzi (1997) and many others that focal phrases and wh-items alike target FocusP, hence accounting for their incompatibility. For reasons of space, I will not delve into this issue here, noting that a split-Focus field may be able to accommodate the differences between run-of-the-mill foci, exclamative phrases and wh-phrases traditionally associated with FocusP. Perhaps from a more current labeling-algorithm perspective, this issue does not arise as such, as the relevant feature (Question, Topic, Focus, etc.) has categorial status, ultimately causing the resulting projection to be labelled accordingly (e.g., Question as the label of a phrase resulting from the merge of two phrases where the shared feature is Question) (Rizzi 2016).

31An interesting case which does not involve recomplementation is provided by Radford’s (2018: 117) example in (i):

(i) (Brendan Rogers, Talk Sport Radio)
  I spoke to him to say that what had happened.

However, as noted in the main text, present-day English lacks a Spanish-like construction where the combination of complementizer plus interrogative marker signals an indirect question. Hence, examples such as (i) may be blends of two clauses or (less likely) instances of change in progress (see Radford 2018 for much relevant discussion). In any case, their recomplementized counterparts, illustrated for Spanish in (63), are impossible in English, as shown in (64)/(65).

32Nevertheless, in much the same way as in the case of interrogatives, exclamative sentences like the following, from Radford (2018: 113), are attested in spoken English. Again, such examples do not feature recomplementation or embedded dislocation.

(i) (Steve Bruce, Sky Sports TV)
  Matty Fryatt showed us again that what a good player he is.

33As a reviewer notes, overtness matters, not just filling, so the Filled-Spec requirement should more accurately be called the Overtly-Filled-Spec condition. Whereas this seems to be true in the case of recomplementation, there is the issue of whether null topics exist, perhaps signalled by an empty category in the Spec,TopicP position. I leave this issue for future research.

34Note that (78) in any case involves topicalization, which can be used contrastively. Thus, as noted by a reviewer, the problem is not recomplementation, but the different information-structure phenomena involved.

35Villa-García & González-Rodríguez (in preparation) claim that sí que is located in a phrase situated below TopicP and above FocusP. The nature of the projection in question remains to be determined, and whether a similar phrase is available in languages like English, where the expression of the equivalent meaning is done in a different manner (e.g., through adverbials), is also an open question.

36Some speakers seem to allow (82), which is symptomatic of inter-speaker variation in this regard.

37According to Jonathan Bobaljik (p.c.), (at least) English recomplementation involves starting one way, pausing, then backing up and continuing differently. This intuition coheres well with the possibility that reduplicative complementizers can also function as discourse markers.

38Note that the claim is not that recomplementizers are discourse markers, but that they can function as discourse markers. As an anonymous reviewer mentions, under Villa-García’s (2015) claim that recomplementizers are the optional lexicalization of Topicº, the prospect of such elements acting as markers of discourse is called into question, as this would assume that a null Topicº (possibly due to the PF deletion of that/que) would also be expected to function as a discourse marker, contrary to fact. However, recent research (e.g., Martínez-Vera in press) has argued that the realization of secondary complementizers is not a mere PF matter (see Section 4.5). This is not incompatible with the view that a Topicº that is spelled out as que can fulfil, among others, a discourse-marking function.

39This is compatible with the proposal made by Ott (2015) that CLLD involves two clauses, with the dislocate being a fragment under ellipsis that is linearly juxtaposed to the host clause (i.e., Creo que no lo llamo a Pedro, que no lo llamo – ‘I believe that Peter, that I won’t call him’). However, the reader should note that Ott (2015) puts aside embedded clauses. At any rate, if this biclausal analysis is extended to recomplementation, then the discourse-marking function of double that/que becomes even more obvious: the reduplicative complementizer serves the role of linking the two clauses, precisely as would be expected if it can act as a discourse marker. However, Ott’s approach is not the analysis pursued in the main text (see Section 3). In a work in progress, I explore the shortcomings of this alternative account of recomplementation, such as the issue of how to handle multiple recomplementation examples (see Section 4.1), which would involve multiple elided clauses juxtaposed to the host clause.

40I would like to thank Bettina Kaminski for bringing the connection between recomplementation that/que and discourse markers to my attention.

Abbreviations

ACC = accusative, DAT = dative, LOC = locative, DOM.ACC = Differential Object Marking (accusative), CL = clitic, SG = singular, PL = plural, TOP = topic, SUBJ = subjunctive, NEG = negative, FUT = future, DET = determiner

Acknowledgements

I would like to thank three anonymous reviewers for their rigorous and useful comments and suggestions. I would also like to express my gratitude to Ángel Jiménez-Fernández for encouraging me to pursue this project, and to Jonathan Bobaljik, Željko Bošković, Simone De Cia, Maj-Britt Mosegaard Hansen, Luis López-Carretero, Andrew Radford, and Hugo Sánchez-Llana for their native-speaker judgments, observations, and/or useful references. I am also grateful to the audiences at the meetings where parts of this paper have been presented: the 14th Workshop on Syntax, Semantics, and Phonology (WoSSP) at the University of Oviedo, especially Guillermo Lorenzo, Francisco Martín Miguel, and Ana Ojea; the Faculty of Philology at the University of Seville, especially Bettina Kaminski and Antonio Narbona; the Linguistics Seminar of the Basque Group on Theoretical Linguistics at the University of the Basque Country (UPV), especially Sergio López-Sancio, Javier Ormazabal, Myriam Uribe-Etxebarria, and Vidal Valmala; the Linguistics Research Seminar at the University of Geneva, especially Giuliano Bocci and Luigi Rizzi; and the Linguistics and English Language Seminar at the University of Manchester, especially Delia Bentley and Alexandru Giurgea. Lastly, thanks are also due to Johan Rooryck and his editorial team for their assistance with this project.

Competing Interests

The author has no competing interests to declare.

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