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5. Romanian clitic doubling: A view from pragmatics-semantics and diachrony

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Abstract

This paper argues that an approach to the Romanian C(litic) D(oubling) from a pragmatics-semantics perspective produces a systematic account for three peculiarities of this construction; namely, the obligatory particle <i>pe </i>preceding the D(irect) O(bject) dp, the interaction between this type of marking and the insertion of a doubling clitic, and the DO/I(ndirect) O(bject) asymmetry in the conditions for CD. In particular, speech act effects emerging from the presence versus absence of <i>pe </i>lead us to define this element as a pragmatic marker for<i>prominence </i>in these configurations. Its interaction with the doubling clitic depends on the semantics of reference: only an acceptable degree of <i>stable reference </i>of the dp allows for the coocurrence with a clitic (i.e., for the CD of DOs). These constraints do not extend to the CD of IOs. We consider that an acceptable degree of <i>stable reference </i>is intrinsically ensured in Romanian CD with IOs because of the matching morphological endings for Oblique Case on both the clitic and the dp; <i>prominence</i>, on the other hand, emerges from the high location of IOs on the topicality scale (i.e., close to Agent-like theta-roles), in contrast to the low location of DOs (i.e., close to Theme-like theta-roles). Thus, IOs meet the pragmatic <i>prominence </i>conditions for CD due to their morpho-semantics, whereas DOs need categorial marking (i.e., <i>pe</i>) to qualify for this process. An overview of the CD in three texts of Old Romanian attests a gradual emergence of the modern CD that supports our analysis.

References

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