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LINGUIST List 19.54

Tue Jan 08 2008

Diss: Linguistic Theories/Pragmatics/Spanish: Belloro: 'Spanish Cli...'

Editor for this issue: Luiza Newlin Lukowicz <luizalinguistlist.org>

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        1.    Valeria Belloro, Spanish Clitic Doubling. A study of the syntax-pragmatics interface

Message 1: Spanish Clitic Doubling. A study of the syntax-pragmatics interface
Date: 26-Dec-2007
From: Valeria Belloro <vb2237columbia.edu>
Subject: Spanish Clitic Doubling. A study of the syntax-pragmatics interface
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Institution: University at Buffalo
Program: Department of Linguistics
Dissertation Status: Completed
Degree Date: 2007

Author: Valeria A. Belloro

Dissertation Title: Spanish Clitic Doubling. A study of the syntax-pragmatics interface

Linguistic Field(s): Linguistic Theories

Subject Language(s): Spanish (spa)

Dissertation Director:
Jean-Pierre Koenig
Rodert D. Van Valin
David A. Zubin

Dissertation Abstract:

This dissertation is a study of the interpretive effects of the so-called
"clitic doubling" constructions in Spanish. Clitic doubling constructions
are those in which a weak pronoun, cliticized to the verb, co-occurs in the
clause with a nominal phrase coreferential with it, as illustrated in (1).

(1)a. La invité a Mabel.
ACC.3FS invited.1S ANIM Mabel
'I invited Mabel.'

b. Le di un regalo a Mabel.
DAT.3S gave.1S a gift DAT Mabel.
'I gave a gift to Mabel.'

In recent decades there have been many studies which propose grammatical
analyses of these structures. These studies are for the most part based on
examples constructed ad hoc and, as it will be shown, cannot adequately
account for the empirical data presented here. On the other hand,
corpus-based accounts of the "clitic doubling" phenomenon are scarce and
advance seemingly contradictory conclusions, some linking doubling with the
participants' topicality, and others with the participants' newness.

In this dissertation it is argued that Spanish clitic doubling
constructions are dependent on the particular cognitive accessibility of
the target referent. Specifically, that clitic doubling structures mark the
deviation of the target referent from its expected accessibility level
given the case-role chosen to encode it.

This claim is supported by the analysis of a corpus of spontaneous
interactions among native speakers of a prototypical "doubling dialect"
(Buenos Aires Spanish), and formalized using the tools of Role and
Reference Grammar.

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