Feature structure of Romance clitics

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106 Citations (Scopus)


The combination of pronominal clitics in Romance often triggers the appearence of unexpected (opaque) form, which always coincide with clitics that exist independently in the language. In this article, which analyzes opaque forms in Italian, Spanish, and, especially, Catalan, it is proposed that pronominal clitics constitute hierarchical structures of monovalent morphological features. This hierarchy reflects markedness relations. Most opaque forms are obtained through morphological rules that delink or insert morphological features, thus rendering the target structure identical to the structure of another clitic. Morphological rules take place within the Morphology Component, between S-structure and PF (cf. Halle 1990, 1991). Phonological information, not present in the syntax, is introduced by spell-out rules very late in the Morphology Component and provides the input to PF. Clitic order is determined through mapping to a template. Some other opaque forms arise at that point. © 1995 Kluwer Academic Publishers.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)607-647
JournalNatural Language and Linguistic Theory
Issue number4
Publication statusPublished - 1 Nov 1995


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