LINGUIST List 7.1354

Sun Sep 29 1996

Qs: Lg&statehood for Puerto Rico, Minimalist Program, Spanish

Editor for this issue: Ljuba Veselinova <>

We'd like to remind readers that the responses to queries are usually best posted to the individual asking the question. That individual is then strongly encouraged to post a summary to the list. This policy was instituted to help control the huge volume of mail on LINGUIST; so we would appreciate your cooperating with it whenever it seems appropriate.


  1. JO_VELEZUPR1.UPR.CLU.EDU, Language and statehood for Puerto Rico
  2., Minimalist Program
  3. "Michael D. Kliffer", Spanish clitic reduplication

Message 1: Language and statehood for Puerto Rico

Date: Fri, 27 Sep 1996 13:32:36 EDT
Subject: Language and statehood for Puerto Rico
Dear colleagues:

I am writing a paper on the issue of language and statehood for the
 Commonwealthof Puerto Rico. The following questions are for readers of the
are interested in language policy issues and the English-only movement.

	1- Do you think it is possible for Puerto Rico to be admitted as a
	state of the union while keeping Spanish as an official language to
	be used in the public school system, the state legislature, and state
	courts? Would Congress and U.S. public opinion be willing to support
	such an initiative? Are there any specific legal impediments to
	Puerto Rico being admitted on these terms?

	2- If Puerto Rico were indeed admitted with Spanish as an official
	language, what do you think would happen to Spanish? Would it be
	retained as the dominant local language, or would language shift
	into English eventually take place? What role would English have
	to play in the state of Puerto Rico?

These are all very hot and current issues on the island today. It is very
important for me to have input from professionals involved in language related
fields. Responses to any of these questions by LINGUIST recipients will be
very much appreciated. A summary will be posted at a future date.

Jorge A. Velez
English Department
University of Puerto Rico, Bayamon
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Message 2: Minimalist Program

Date: Sun, 29 Sep 1996 11:03:30 PDT
From: <>
Subject: Minimalist Program

I would like to know whether a sentence (1) below is actually used or
not, and its grammaticality. If a sentence (1) could be used, tell me
the situation where it is spoken.


1. John said that he was looking for a cet, and so did Bill [say
that he was looking for a cat].

I would also ask about the semantic difference between (1) and
(2), if any, and their intonation.

2. John said that he was looking for a cat, and so did Bill.

(Sentences are cited from "The Minimalist Program" by Chomsky
(p. 252))


 Tomohiro YANAGI
 Dept. of English Linguistics
 Nagoya University
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Message 3: Spanish clitic reduplication

Date: Sun, 29 Sep 1996 11:03:30 PDT
From: "Michael D. Kliffer" <>
Subject: Spanish clitic reduplication

I am addressing this query to Spanish native speakers, both
Peninsular an d Latin American. In the varieties of Spanish that
I am familiar with, two-argu ment verbs like 'gustar', 'parecer',
and 'interesar' (?nearly) always require a co-refere ntial dative
clitic, whether or not the dative NP precedes or follows the
verb, e.g.

1. No *(le) gustan las manzanas a mi hijo. ( *(le) means that
'le' is re quired.)

2. *(Le) parece al dueF1o que la cosecha serE1 buena este aF1o.

3. El bE9isbol no *(le) interesa a Jorge.

Obligatory clitic duplication has also been claimed for possessor
datives (Jaeggli 1982):

4. La mamE1 *(les) lavF3 la cara a sus hijos.

I would like to test how iron-clad this duplication rule really
is. I suspect that the clitic is omissible if there is a heavy
dative NP, with this being so esp ecially in the written
language, (perhaps because of the greater attention paid there to
condemnation of redundancy), e.g.

5. La negativa del Primer Ministro interesa mE1s a la prensa que
a los r echazados.

6. Los guardias cortaron el pelo solamente a los prisioneros indios.

7. Los soldados ataron los brazos a cada recluta que tenEDa
antecedentes sospechosos.

8. Ese penitente lavF3 los pies a unos 0 paseantes en un solo

9. Los guardias tatuaron el brazo a mE1s de 00 prisioneros. 

I would appreciate hearing native speakers' reactions to this
hunch and t o the above data. I would also like to know if
there's been any work on clitic redupl ication which takes into
account the syntax and/or semantics of the actual verb. (I'm
familiar with Jaeggli 1982 and older stuff by Keniston, Kany and
Bello). Comments on Peninsular/ American differences will also
be welcome; my preliminary results show th at Peninsular speakers
are more tolerant of non-reduplication when the dative is a poss


Mike Kliffer
Dept. of French
McMaster University
Hamilton, Ontario, Canada
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