LINGUIST List 32.2558

Wed Aug 04 2021

Books: Romance Object Clitics: Pescarini

Editor for this issue: Billy Dickson <>

Date: 21-May-2021
From: Tyler Simnick <>
Subject: Romance Object Clitics: Pescarini
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Title: Romance Object Clitics
Subtitle: Microvariation and Linguistic Change
Series Title: Oxford Studies in Diachronic and Historical Linguistics
Published: 2021
Publisher: Oxford University Press

Book URL:

Author: Diego Pescarini
Hardback: ISBN: 9780198864387 Pages: 352 Price: U.S. $ 100

This book offers an empirical and theoretical exploration of the development of object clitic pronouns in the Romance languages, drawing on data from Latin, medieval vernaculars, modern Romance languages, and lesser-known dialects. Diego Pescarini examines phonological, morphological, and especially syntactic aspects of Romance object clitics, using the findings to reconstruct their evolution from Latin to Romance and to model clitic placement in modern Romance languages. On the theoretical side, the volume engages with previous accounts of clitics, particularly in generative theory. It challenges the received idea that cliticization resulted from a form of syntactic deficiency; instead, it proposes that clitics resulted from the feature endowment of discourse features, which initially caused freezing of certain pronominal forms and then - through reanalysis - their successive incorporation to verbal hosts. This approach leads to a revision of earlier analyses of well-known phenomena such as interpolation, climbing, and enclisis/proclisis alternations, and to new approaches to issues including V2 syntax, scrambling, and stylistic fronting, among many others.

Linguistic Field(s): Syntax
Language Family(ies): Romance

Written In: English (eng)

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Page Updated: 04-Aug-2021