On the emergence of two classes of clitic clusters in Italo-Romance

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This contribution deals with the make-up of Italo-Romance clitic sequences. Building on Kayne (1994), I will argue that some clitic combinations are clusters in which one clitic is left-adjoined to the other, while others are split sequences formed by adjacent clitic heads. In particular, on the basis of morphological evidence, I will argue that clusters are formed via a process of root incorporation. Evidence supporting this view comes from both diachronic and synchronic data. Diachronically, I argue that the emergence of cluster configurations resulted in a change reversing the order of certain clitic combinations (roughly, from accusative > dative to dative > accusative). Synchronically, clusters differ from split combinations as the latter can be marginally separated.


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