Diagnosing Finiteness in Embedded Nominalised Clauses

Diane Nelson


This paper focuses on a range of dependent clause types from Finnish, Saami and Turkish in order to evaluate a claim by Kornfilt (2007) that embedded nominalised clauses may be finite. The morphology of these languages allow embedded clauses to host affixes drawn from nominal agreement paradigms and others which signal temporal relationships relative to the main clause event. Drawing on proposals by Bianchi (2003), Adger (2007) and Holmberg & Platzack (1995), it is argued that embedded nominalised clauses fail to display the properties expected of finite clauses if tense and agreement are the categories which license a projection of finiteness (Fin0). The evidence presented here suggests that the nominalised clauses in question do not meet the relevant criteria for finiteness.

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