Extending partial pro-drop in Modern Hebrew: A comprehensive analysis
Modern Hebrew is considered to be a 'partial pro-drop language'. Traditionally, the distinction between cases where pro-drop is licensed and those in which it is prohibited, was based on the person and tense features of the verb: 1st and 2nd person pronominal subjects may be omitted in past and future tense. This generalization, however, was found to be false in a number of papers, each discussing a subset of the data. Thus, contrary to conventional wisdom, dropped 3rd person pronouns subjects do occur in the language in particular contexts.
Identifying these contexts by way of a corpus-based survey is the initial step taken in this study. Subsequently, a careful syntactic analysis of the data reveals broad generalizations which have not been made to date. Thus, what was initially assumed to be a uniform phenomenon of 3rd person pro-drop turns out to be manifested in three distinct types of constructions. Finally, the proposed HPSG-based analysis incorporates insights concerning locality, correlations between finite and non-finite control, non-canonical elements, and binding.