Unifying Person-Based Restrictions on Clitic Combinations (Syntax Colloquium)

Martin Walkow (UMass)
Event time: 
Friday, March 29, 2013 - 12:00pm to 1:00pm
Dow Hall (Room 201) See map
370 Temple Street
New Haven, CT 06551
Event description: 

Many languages show person based restrictions on combinations of direct and indirect object clitics. The most studied of these is a family of restrictions known as the Person Case Constraint (PCC), a ban on first and second person direct object clitics or agreement markers in the presence of indirect object clitics or agreement markers. In addition, some languages show restrictions on combinations of third person direct and indirect object clitics. These two types of restrictions have been claimed to arise in two different modules of the grammar. While the PCC has received syntactic analyses over the past ten years, restrictions on combinations of third person are considered to be morphological. Analogously, the alternative strategies that languages use to avoid the PCC have been treated as syntactic last resort mechanisms.

Based on the similarities in where these two types of restrictions arise, in the strategies that are used to avoid them and and in what controls where these strategies of avoidance are used, I argue that both of them are underlyingly syntactic. I present an analysis of both kinds of restrictions that builds on previous syntactic analyses of the PCC.

The proposal will be motivated by and illustrated on data from several Romance languages, in particular dialects of Catalan.

Event Type: 
Lunch Talks