The Quotative Complementizer Says “I’m too Baroque for that”

  • Rahul Balusu


We build a composite picture of the quotative complementizer (QC) in Dravidian by examining its role in various left-peripheral phenomena – agreement shift, embedded questions; and its particular manifestation in various constructions like noun complement clauses, manner adverbials, rationale clauses, with naming verbs, small clauses, and non-finite embedding, among others. The QC we conclude is instantiated at the very edge of the clause it subordinates, outside the usual left periphery, comes with its own entourage of projections, and is the light verb say which does not extend its projection. It adjoins to the matrix spine at various heights (at the vP level it gets a theta-role, and thus argument properties) when it does extend its projection, and like a verb selects clauses of various sizes (CP, TP, small clause). We take the Telugu QC ani as illustrative, being more transparent in form to function mapping, but draw from the the QC properties of Malayalam, Kannada, Bangla, and Meiteilon too.