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Clitic clusters in early Italo-Romance and the syntax/phonology interface

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Abstract

This paper deals with the morpho-phonology of Italo-Romance clitic clusters. It argues that morpho-phonological processes (i.e. apocope, prosthesis, etc.) are sensitive to both the syntactic make-up of clitic clusters and their prosodic structure. The first part of the paper aims to support the hypothesis that a clitic cluster is a Foot, daughter to a recursive Prosodic Word (Peperkamp 1995, 1996, 1997). The second part of the paper accounts for the distribution of the apocopated clitic <i>l</i> (&#60; <i>lo</i> &#8216;it/him&#8217;/&#8216;the.m.sg&#8217;) in early Italo-Romance. I show that the distribution of <i>l </i>follows from syllabic and alignment constraints compatible with the foot-based analysis. The last section addresses a puzzling vowel alternation which targets the leftmost clitic of certain clusters in Old and Modern Italian.

References

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