Clitic placement and grammaticalization in Portuguese

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In this paper, we argue that the architecture of grammar proposed in Distributed Morphology can shed light on the diachronic shift that has occurred in Portuguese enclisis. Employing such a view of the architecture of grammar allows us to interpret this shift as a case of grammaticalization, thus broadening the treatment of this concept in the framework of generative grammar. In Modern European Portuguese, enclitic pronouns are more affix-like than proclitic pronouns, both syntactically and phonologically. We argue that enclisis in Modern Portuguese is due to Lowering, a post-syntactic incorporation process, whereas clitics in Classical Portuguese must be displaced from the beginning of an Intonational Phrase, and as such, enclisis in this language period is a result of Prosodic Inversion.


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