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This monograph is a revised version of my PhD thesis written at Università Ca’ Foscari, in Venice. During my years in Venice, I had an amazing time both professionally and personally: I had the chance to meet or even work with wonderful teachers, as well as spend great time with incredible colleagues who became my friends, work as a tutor and travel abroad at various conferences and for research purposes.

First and foremost, I would like to express my gratitude to my supervisor, Professor Alessandra Giorgi, who guided me in my study of Linguistics, giving me constant advice, suggestions, and, at the same time, emotional support. Apart from being an amazing teacher, she has also been like a mother to me. She has done everything in her power to help me during my PhD years, and it is thanks to her that I did not feel as a foreigner in Italy. Apart from her constant support in my thesis, I had the chance to work as a tutor of linguistics for her course, and I was thus given the opportunity to practice my teaching skills and learn a lot of new things, an opportunity for which I am extremely grateful and which I am sure will help me a lot in the future.

I would also like to thank Professor Guglielmo Cinque and Professor Giuliana Giusti, for being so kind as to receive me whenever I had questions related to my thesis, and giving me suggestions that were very helpful. I also had a chance to work as a tutor of English Language for Giuliana Giusti, and she helped me organize my lessons with extreme kindness.

I have benefited a lot from the suggestions of Professor Alexandra Cornilescu, from the University of Bucharest, who helped me with much needed bibliography, and pointed out to certain aspects I had neglected. Her contribution is much more important though. Professor Alexandra Cornilescu was one of the teachers who instilled in me the passion for linguistics, and made me choose this path. I had the chance to attend her courses both during the BA and the MA of Linguistics, and her enthusiasm and love for language science always amazed me and the other students. Larisa Avram is another teacher I am deeply grateful to, I wrote my BA and MA thesis under her guidance, and her observations helped me shape my mind, and made me choose Linguistics for the future. Another thanks goes to Mihaela Dogaru, a teacher very close to my heart. Apart from attending her classes during the MA, I also had the wonderful opportunity of working with her before, when preparing myself for the Faculty of Foreign Languages. She made me fall in love with the English language, and I am most grateful to her for this.

Moreover, I would like to thank the University of Tromsø for giving me the chance to be a visiting researcher for a period of three months. I benefited a lot from the support and suggestions of Gillian Ramchand. I had the chance to attend her seminars and other seminars at the University of Tr omsø, which increased my interest in linguistics. Moreover, while I was in Tromsø, she guided me in creating a database of denominal verbs, and, later on, she was the one who introduced me to the spanning framework. It is to a great extent her merit that my thesis did not deal solely with phrasal spell-out, but tried to account for denominals in a spanning framework. I would also like to express my gratitude to Michal Starke, who explained to me the difference between terminal spell-out and phrasal spell-out, and made observations which helped me improve my work. In this context, I would also like to thank Carmen Savu, a friend of mine whose passion for nanosyntax spurred me into wanting to study it myself.

I would also like to thank Jaume Mateu whom I had the chance to meet in Spain at a conference. I am grateful for the remarks he made about my presentation at a CGG, and for him sending me materials that were extremely useful for my work.

The current version of the monograph also owes a lot to the wonderful editors and anonymous reviewers at Brill, who gave me important suggestions which helped me upgrade the book significantly both in terms of structure and content.

A very special thanks goes to my friend Elena, who was so kind as to accept proofreading my work – she has done it with a lot of attention and love, but she has not only done that. During my PhD years, she was always there for me emotionally, telling me not to lose heart when I felt low. I owe her so much. The same is true for Oana, Ioana, Michela, Mihaela, Cristina, Diana, Teo, Maura, Anca, Fabian, Mauricio, wonderful friends of mine, who always stood by my side, with words of encouragement and unflinching loyalty, as well as Alina Petre, my beautiful artist friend who studied painting in Venice, and in whose kindness I could always find shelter. I could not have done it without their help. There are many other friends I would like to thank but, for fear of forgetting anyone, I will stop here.

My gratitude also goes to Aquiles Tescari, who always encouraged me to read more and more, and expressed his confidence in me.

Also, this monograph would not have been possible without my parents’ support, Macrina and Gheorghe. Although I was far away from them during my PhD, they never failed to be close to me, supporting me financially when I needed it, and emotionally, with their constant love and concern. I have missed them tremendously all these years.

I would also like to thank all the people who encouraged me to continue working on my thesis and turn it into a monograph after I returned to Bucharest, especially Professor Tom Roeper, whom I have recently had the wonderful chance to meet in Amherst, during a research stay.

And last but not least, I would like to thank Josh, the sweetest guy in the world, for being so amazing and supportive!