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Syntactic change in Portuguese and Spanish

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Abstract

This chapter describes two cases of divergent syntactic change between Portuguese and Spanish, namely clitic placement and post-nominal <i>algum/alguno</i>. While both changes feature instances of linguistic splitting from a former unity during the Middle Ages, they nevertheless exhibit different patterns of development, illustrating what the author calls the &#8216;inverted-Y&#8217; and the &#8216;I&#8217; patterns of change. Under the former, the two languages start diverging as soon as grammatical change is set in motion. Under the latter, the two languages show a similar/parallel path of change and eventually split apart when one of them goes a step further than the other. Clitic placement in the history of Spanish and Portuguese exemplifies the &#8216;inverted-Y&#8217; pattern, post-nominal <i>algum/alguno</i> exemplifies the &#8216;I&#8217; pattern of change.

References

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