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Ripano, an Italo-Romance variety spoken in Ripatransone in central Italy, exhibits a
number of phenomena that are quite rare among the Romance languages. It shows
dedicated gender marking on the finite verb, unlike any other Romance language.
The same variety also exhibits adverbial and prepositional agreement. Furthermore,
whenever a topic is present in the clause it triggers agreement: finite verbs, non-
finite verbs (participles and gerunds), adverbs, and prepositions all show agreement
with the topic.
Topic-driven agreement, I argue, is the result of two co-occurring factors: 1. the
presence of an extra item, a φ-probe, in the lexical inventory of the language; 2. A
special setup of this probe, which requires agreement with the topic. I also present
some cross-linguistic evidence for this analysis.
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