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Specificity in Clitic Doubling and in Differential Object Marking
1Universidad de Alcalá
Citation Information: Probus. Volume 20, Issue 1, Pages 33–66, ISSN (Online) 1613-4079, ISSN (Print) 0921-4771, DOI: 10.1515/PROBUS.2008.002, October 2008
- Published Online:
Many languages that display Differential Object Marking (DOM) and Clitic Doubling (CD), like Spanish and Romanian, show specificity restrictions in both grammatical environments. This paper is devoted to the problem of explaining why specificity effects are present in those constructions. I intend to give an answer to two interrelated questions: (i) What kind of connection holds between the two kinds of object marking?; (ii) How do specificity effects arise in both cases?
An answer to question (i) involves a reexamination of the fundamental intuition behind so-called ‘Kayne's generalization’, i.e., the assumption that CD requires the object to be case-marked. I claim that the systematic co-occurrence of CD and DOM in certain languages is simply an effect of their semantic contribution to the proposition expressed. As for question (ii), my claim is that there is no unified account of specificity restrictions. In CD, they originate in the [+definite] feature of the clitic and the interpretive requirements it imposes on the associate DP (Gutiérrez-Rexach 2001): when the associate is an indefinite DP, the only way it can obey the matching condition established by the definite clitic in the doubling configuration is being assigned a specific (partitive or discourse-linked) reading. DOM, on the contrary, is not associated with specificity by means of definiteness and discourse-dependence. The basic property that triggers specificity constraints in DOM contexts, whatever it may be, does not give rise to the same presuppositionality effects and anaphoric readings that CD forces. Thus, specificity effects derive from different semantic features in the two constructions.