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Restructuring is a process which unites two clauses yielding one clause.


The following examples are from Italian. (ii) is the result of Restructuring:

(i)   [Si vuole [PRO vendere queste case a caro prezzo]]
      one wants      sell    these houses at a high price
(ii)  Queste casei si vogliono vendere ei a caro prezzo

In (i) it would be impossible to move the object queste case from the embedded clause into the matrix subject position, but, after Restructuring, this is exactly what happens in (ii). In general, Restructuring is assumed in order to explain clause union phenomena in Romance languages, such as Clitic Climbing and long movement as illustrated in (ii). No satisfactory formalization of Restructuring as a rule is available. A verb raising type of analysis, which would create a verb cluster, must be rejected, because non-verbal material, such as adverbs and complementizers, can intervene between the two verbs:

(iii) Loi verró subito a vedere ei 
      (I) it-will come at-once to see
      I will come at once to see it

The Barriers framework, with some extensions, allows an analysis in which L-marking basically cancels the barrierhood of the complement clause, which otherwise would block clitic climbing. Clitic climbing then reduces to repeated application of head movement. An intervening complementizer - a in (iii) - remains a potential problem.



  • Burzio, L. 1986. Italian Syntax, Reidel, Dordrecht.
  • Kayne, R. 1989. Null subjects and clitic climbing, in: O. Jaeggli and K. Safur (eds.) The null subject parameter, Kluwer Academic Publishers, Amsterdam
  • Manzini, R. 1983a. Restructuring and reanalysis, diss. MIT.
  • Rizzi, L. 1982. Issues in Italian syntax, Foris, Dordrecht
  • Zubizaretta, M.-L. 1982. On the Relationship of the Lexicon to Syntax, Diss, MIT.


See Reanalysis.