Diachronic convergence and divergence in differential object marking between Spanish and Portuguese

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Comparing the evolution of differential object marking (DOM) in Spanishand Portuguese between the 16th and the 20th c. we discover great differencesbetween the two neighbor languages. Whereas in Spanish we notice a steadyincrease and high degree of grammaticalization of DOM, the graph for thedegree of grammaticalization of DOM in Portuguese resembles a standardizednormal Gaussian distribution with its peak in the 17th c. The increase of objectmarking until the 17th c. is in consequence of convergence towards Spanish dueto the high prestige of the latter language. From the 18th c. onwards divergencedue to the building of an own national and linguistic identity finally led to thedisappearance of DOM in modern Portuguese.


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