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“Floating plurals”, prodrop and agreement – an optimality-based RRG approach

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Abstract

In this paper, I shall try to provide a RRG description of agreement marking and “morphological” argument realization in Spanish. In Spanish, subject agreement can be expressed by a suffix, but the same suffix can realize the PSA-argument. Object clitics, too, can realize arguments or serve as agreement markers. Valeria Belloro, following the research put forth by Company, pointed out an interesting problem concerning argument realization and object clitics in standard Latin American Spanish. Plurality of the Non-Macrorole-Argument can be realized at the clitic denoting the Undergoer-Macrorole. My contribution will thus be to sketch a general RRG-framework for clitics, argument realization and agreement. As far as Belloro’s problem is concerned, I would like to show that the data can be described without presuming a kind of functional head at the level of constituent structure. In fact, speakers use the optimal clitic in each speech variety. What differs is the lexical entry for the clitics, and Grimshaw’s approach to Spanish clitics and optimality must therefore be reformulated. Choosing the optimal clitic is part of applying a constructional schema that comes into play as part of the linking algorithm within the rr g framework.

References

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