On the relation between functional architecture and patterns of change in Romance object clitic syntax

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Complement clitic pronouns (OCLs) in Romance are not all created equal: diachronic change in OCL syntax can at first affect some clitic forms, but not others. This paper examines two cases of variation and change in OCL syntax from two different Romance varieties. Specifically, I examine the change in progress in OCL-<i>infinitive</i> order in Fassano (Ladin) varieties, and the variation in the OCL-types which participate in a non-standard imperative construction in Spanish. I explore the idea that variation and change in these apparently unrelated cases is the result of the same underlying fact, namely, that the different OCL forms occupy distinct functional heads within the functional hierarchy of the clause, within the stretch of functional architecture I call the &#8216;clitic placement domain&#8217;. The <i>Functional Hierarchy Hypothesis</i> for clitic placement provides a framework in which to understand how syntactic variation and change affects the different OCLs in a predictable way.


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