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On clitic attachment in Ibero-Romance

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Abstract

Within inflectional studies on cliticisation, it has been convincingly argued that clitics may either attach to a morphological host or a phrasal host (Klavans, 1980; Miller, 1992; Halpern, 1995; Spencer, 2001). In this chapter, it is claimed that the distinction between morphological and phrasal attachment of clitics plays a crucial role in accounting for the distributional and scopal differences between Spanish and Portuguese clitic pronouns. Although clitic pronouns in both Ibero-Romance varieties share a number of inflectional properties, evidence also shows that they differ with respect to their attachment patterns. In particular, while Spanish clitic pronouns attach morphologically to the verb (both in preverbal and postverbal position), Portuguese clitics are split between morphological and phrasal attachment: postverbal clitics attach to a morphological host while preverbal clitics select a phrasal host. The attachment patterns of Portuguese and Spanish clitic pronouns will be captured within Paradigm-Function Morphology (Stump, 2001), by formulating realisation rules, which generate clitics as pronominal affixes, and separate attachment rules, which position affixal clitics within the relevant grammatical domain (Luís & Spencer, 2005a, 2012; Luís, 2009).

References

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