Volume 34, Issue 2
  • ISSN 0378-4177
  • E-ISSN: 1569-9978
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The present paper investigates the relationship between dislocation and differential object marking in some Romance languages. As in many languages that have a DOM system, it is usually also assumed that in Romance languages the phenomenon is regulated by the semantic features of the referents, such as animacy, definiteness, and specificity. In the languages under investigation, though, these features cannot explain the distribution and the emergence of DOM. After discussing the main theoretical approaches to the phenomenon, I will analyse DOM in four Romance languages. I will argue that DOM emerges in pragmatically and semantically marked contexts, namely with personal pronouns in dislocations. I will then show that in these languages the use of the DOM system is mainly motivated by the need to signal the markedness of these direct objects as a consequence of being used in (mainly left) dislocation as topics (cf. English “As for him, we didn’t see him”). Finally, the examination of comparative data from Persian and Amazonian languages lends further support to the advocated approach in terms of information structure


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  • Article Type: Research Article
Keyword(s): differential object marking; dislocations; information structure; transitivity
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