A new model for Romance verbal clitics

Sillitoe, Catherine (2017). A new model for Romance verbal clitics. University of Birmingham. Ph.D.

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Perlmutter (1971)'s seminal work on clitics has set much of the research model for ensuing studies. Despite enormous changes in linguistic theory over the intervening period, models in which clitic order is determined on the basis of grammatical person remains a key ingredient of most analyses. A key tenet of the current proposal is that clitic-forms may perform more than one syntactic function, reflected in their position within an elaborated series of feature projections including heads, not only for VP argument referents but also non-argumental datives and nominative actors. Surface clitic patterns are merely sequential spell-outs of this structure. There is no need for clitic re-ordering at a morphological or syntactic level.

The proposed model requires no complex exclusion or conversion mechanisms nor sophisticated syntactic processes, whilst being iconic and, therefore, learnable without the need for prior knowledge e.g. Universal Grammar constraints. The model has no need of lexicalized units, treating all clusters as purely compositional sequences directly interpretable from context. Giving each 'case' its own position leads to a simple and coherent model readily applicable across Romance. The work addresses 1-/2-/3-/4-clitic clusters in French, Italian, Spanish, Occitan, Catalan, and Romanian in their various dialect forms, whilst briefly illustrating many other Romance dialects.

Type of Work: Thesis (Doctorates > Ph.D.)
Award Type: Doctorates > Ph.D.
College/Faculty: Colleges (2008 onwards) > College of Arts & Law
School or Department: School of Languages, Cultures, Art History and Music, Department of Modern Languages
Funders: None/not applicable
Subjects: P Language and Literature > P Philology. Linguistics
P Language and Literature > PC Romance languages
URI: http://etheses.bham.ac.uk/id/eprint/7450


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