Date of Award


Author's School

College of Arts & Sciences

Author's Program


Degree Name

Bachelor of Arts (A.B.)




This thesis presents an analysis of some aspects of the syntax of Oscan, a dead language from the Italic family, with a focus on the conditional construction. Drawing on modern approaches to the syntax of the related language Latin, I show that deviation from the default SOV word order of Oscan can be described in terms of discourse-marking focus and topic movement. Due to the frequent appearance of imperatives in conditional constructions, I address the syntax of imperatives in some detail. Applying current generative theories of the imperative to the Oscan consequent clause, I conclude that the Oscan imperative is raised to the CP layer of the clause only at the level of logical form. The noticeable absence of negated imperatives in the Oscan corpus is also discussed. I argue that the negated imperative is not ruled out syntactically or semantically and is most likely absent due to pragmatic or stylistic concerns. I put forward an analysis of Oscan subordinate clauses, focusing on relatives and conditionals. The internal syntax of the Oscan subordinate clause is shown to involve phonetically null operator movement to ForceP and subordinator movement to the lower FinP, with the result that topics and foci can precede the subordinator. Oscan conditional clauses are argued to be centrally located in the matrix consequent clause.


Matt Barros

Additional Advisors

Brett Kessler

Included in

Syntax Commons