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LINGUIST List 23.554

Thu Feb 02 2012

Diss: Text/Corpus Ling/Spanish: Aranovich: 'Optional Agreement and ...'

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        1.     Roberto Aranovich , Optional Agreement and Grammatical Functions: A corpus study of dative clitic doubling in Spanish


Message 1: Optional Agreement and Grammatical Functions: A corpus study of dative clitic doubling in Spanish
Date: 02-Feb-2012
From: Roberto Aranovich <roberto.aranovichgmail.com>
Subject: Optional Agreement and Grammatical Functions: A corpus study of dative clitic doubling in Spanish
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Institution: University of Pittsburgh
Program: Department of Linguistics
Dissertation Status: Completed
Degree Date: 2011

Author: Roberto Aranovich

Dissertation Title: Optional Agreement and Grammatical Functions: A corpus
study of dative clitic doubling in Spanish

Dissertation URL: http://d-scholarship.pitt.edu/6209/

Linguistic Field(s): Text/Corpus Linguistics

Subject Language(s): Spanish (spa)

Language Family(ies): Romance


Dissertation Director(s):
Alan Juffs
Lori Levin

Dissertation Abstract:

Spanish ditransitive constructions are characterized by the optionality of
dative clitic doubling (DCLD), the co- occurrence of an unstressed dative
pronoun with a co-referential indirect object (IO). This fact has not
received a satisfactory account in the literature, which has largely
overlooked the optionality of the phenomenon or tried to reduce it to
syntactic or lexical considerations (Strozer, 1976; Demonte, 1995). Our
goal is to describe and explain the distribution of Dative Clitic Doubling
in ditransitive sentences, as well as to study the implications of this
phenomenon to the overall grammar of Spanish, in particular its interaction
with word order. We argue that the optionality of DCLD is an instance of
optional object agreement, a widespread phenomenon in the languages of the
world (Comrie, 1989; Woolford, 1999), which is favored by the pragmatic
salience of the IO (high degree of animacy and givenness). We also argue
that the distribution of DCLD is independent of word order, a claim that
follows from the fact that Spanish encodes grammatical functions through
agreement rather than word order. We support our claims with the results of
a quantitative study of ditransitive sentences. The study of Spanish
ditransitive constructions is complemented by a quantitative study of
another dative construction in Spanish, the possessive construction. The
conclusion of this comparison is that dative case is favored by pragmatic
prominence across different construction types. From a cross-linguistic
perspective, the dissertation compares Spanish DCLD and English
dative-shift, two constructions that have been considered analogous in the
literature (Demonte, 1995). In this respect, our conclusion is that the two
constructions are essentially different as a result of an important
typological difference between Spanish and English: Spanish is a
Direct/Indirect Object language and English is a Primary/Secondary Object
language (Dryer, 1986; Raúl Aranovich, 2007).

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