Accessible Requires Authentication Published by De Gruyter Mouton July 27, 2005

New views on reflexivity: Delay effects in Romance

Sergio Baauw and Denis Delfitto
From the journal


In this contribution, we intend to offer an interesting exemplification of the kind of positive interaction that may arise between acquisition studies and linguistic theory. Starting from a full range of comparative studies showing the presence of a delay in the acquisition of the interpretive properties of non-reflexive pronominals and the absence of such a delay in languages where clitic pronominals are involved, we argue that this range of effects is elegantly derived from a general constraint on extra-lexical operations of valency-reduction, turning relations into one-place predicates. This analysis leads to a sort of cross-modular (re)interpretation of Principle B of Binding Theory and to a radically new analysis of the relation between (semantic) binding and coreference. Another important consequence of the proposed analysis is that it supports the view of Romance clitics as morphosyntactically encoding a lexical operation of reflexivization. In the second part of this article, we show that this analysis explains some intriguing and so far poorly understood asymmetries between reflexive and non-reflexive clitics arising within the domain of complex predicate constructions in Romance.

Published Online: 2005-07-27
Published in Print: 2005-06-20

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