Volume 21, Issue 1
  • ISSN 1877-9751
  • E-ISSN: 1877-976X
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There are two approaches to Differential Object Marking (): The Ambiguity Thesis and the Transitivity Thesis. The Ambiguity Thesis states that a morphological mark for the direct object tends to be used when it possesses the prototypical properties of the subject, such as agenthood, animacy, definiteness or topicality. The Transitivity Thesis argues that languages tend to mark categories with high transitivity values morphologically, rather than lower values. In our study we combined these two approaches to create a systematic model, which is a modified version of the Transitivity Hypothesis of Hopper and Thompson (1980). We postulate that the minimal condition to use in Spanish is a cognitive profiling of the referent of the direct object. The degree of profiling can be considered as cognitive prominence and can distinguish from more prototypical uses of to less prototypical ones. Our model provides a plausible explanation not only regarding the hierarchical relation between properties, but also regarding some problematic uses of .


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