frequency and agreement

Ricardo Maldonado msoto at SERVIDOR.UNAM.MX
Tue Apr 4 15:36:00 UTC 2000

A minor comment on Andrew's observation on clitic doubling in Spanish.

The cases where the NP does not have the clitic in Spanish are highly
marked and most probably correspond to an recent development in the
language. While example 2)repeated here:

2)      Juan envio el libro a su madre.
        'Juan sent the book to his bother.'

is possible, it is highly marked in several dialects of Latin American
Spanish. Examples 1) and 3) below are the most natural outputs. Even in mre
conservative dialects structure 2) corresponds to literary and formal uses.
Only in the last Century however 2) was the normal way to code indirect
objects (benfactives do not take clitic doubling). This suggests, I
beleive, a recent historical development in Spanish towards clitic doubling.

I hope this helps

Best regards


>>     A language has (pronoun based) agrement if the clitic in question
>> can appear without its antecedent (but not necessarily does).
>>     A language has a system of pronominal doubling, if the antecedent
>> can appear without the clitic (but not necessarily does).
>>     [Note that I superficially use 'antecedent' for any kind of
>> pronominal trigger ('ante-cedent' (anaphoric) as well as 'post-cedent'
>> (cataphoric)]
>And if a language has both, then it is possibly on the way from one type
>to another?  All three types occurs in Spanish (I have been looking at
>the Madrid and Buenos Aires dialects as represented in journalism).
>They following are constructed, but possible, examples.
1)      Juan le envio           el libro a su madre.
        'Juan sent the book to his mother.'

2)      Juan envio el libro a su madre.
        'Juan sent the book to his bother.'

3)      Juan le envio el libro.
        'Juan sent her/him the book.'

>> Wolfgang
>> --
>> *****************************
>> Prof. Dr. Wolfgang Schulze
>> Institut fuer Allgemeine und Indogermanische Sprachwissenschaft
>> Ludwig-Maximilians-Universitaet München
>> Geschwister-Scholl-Platz 1
>> D-80539 München
>> Tel.: +89-21805343 / Fax: +89-21805345
>> Email: W.Schulze at
>> *****************************
>Andrew J. Koontz-Garboden
>Department of Linguistics and
>Department of Spanish and Portuguese
>Indiana University
>Ballantine Hall 848
>Bloomington, IN 47405

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