I'm trying to port Cardinaletti & Shlonsky's analysis of Italian clitic placement1 to the Minimalist framework for a term paper. The course is based on Adger's textbook2 which mostly focuses on syntax trees of English sentences.

I'm trying to represent simple sentences like Io ci vado and Io voglio andarci using syntax trees. In the first sentence, the locative clitic ci is in a clausal position, and in the second sentence it is attached to the lexical verb.

My intuition is that ci is initially merged as andare's complement in VP, but I'm not sure if it's possible to move the clitic to an entirely new projection (LocCL)—between T and vP—later in the derivation to account for the word order in the first sentence.

I'm not entirely sure how I'd motivate that movement either since clitic climbing is optional.

Io ci    vado.
I  there go
'I go there.'

Io voglio andarci.
I  want   (to) go.there
'I want to go there.'

Where are clitics initially Merged in Italian?

[1] Cardinaletti, A., & Shlonsky, U. (2004). Clitic positions and restructuring in Italian. Linguistic Inquiry, 35(4), 519-557.

[2] Adger, D. (2003). Core syntax: a minimalist approach. Oxford: Oxford University Press.


1 Answer 1


I Start saying I'm Italian, so I tell you things that can make a good Italian. So, In Italian often there isn't the subject as Io (I), Tu (you), Lui (he) etc. You can say:

Ci    vado.

Voglio andarci.

Last thing, In Italian there = li/là, So, you can also say;

Io vado li/là.

Io voglio andare li/là.
  • 3
    Welcome to Linguistics.SE! Unfortunately the poster is looking for a Minimalist Program analysis of Italian pronoun clitics, and not general information.
    – jogloran
    Apr 6, 2016 at 22:35

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