Person restrictions and the representation of third person – an argument from Barceloní Catalan

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Several Romance languages show restrictions on combinations of third person direct and indirect object clitics (Bonet 1995) and combinations of such clitics involving local person direct objects (the Person Case Constraint (PCC), Bonet 1991, 1994). The former have received morphological analyses, while the later have recently been treated as syntactic. A unified, syntactic analysis of both of these restrictions is developed by extending existing analyses of the PCC. Person restrictions are derived in a syntactic configuration where DO bleeds person licensing on IO. A more complex syntactic representation of third person is proposed. The starting point for the investigation is Barceloní Catalan, which evades both restrictions by not realizing person morphology on third person indirect objects. The proposal is subsequently extended to Spanish, in particular restrictions on animate direct objects pronouns in some varieties of leísta Spanish (Ormazabal & Romero 2007). The syntactic proposal combines with the proposal for the semantics and pragmatics of person features in Sauerland (2004, 2008) to derive interpretive aspects of the leísta Spanish data.


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