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International Journal of Romance Linguistics

Editor-in-Chief: Wetzels, W. Leo

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Volume 25, Issue 2


Satellite-framed Latin vs. verb-framed Romance: A syntactic approach

Víctor Acedo-Matellán
  • Corresponding author
  • Centre de Lingüística Teòrica, Universitat Autònoma de Barcelona, Bellaterra, Barcelona, Spain
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/ Jaume Mateu
Published Online: 2013-01-25 | DOI: https://doi.org/10.1515/probus-2013-0008


In this paper we are interested in the relation between two facts accompanying the diachronic change from Latin to Romance within the domain of the morphological and argument-structural properties of the predicates expressing change. On the one hand, the element encoding the transition itself, which we call the Path, and the verb are realised as two distinct morphemes in Latin, but as one and the same morpheme in the daughter languages: in Talmy's (2000) terms, the former is a satellite-framed language and the latter are verb-framed languages. On the other hand, there is a whole range of argument-structural patterns which are found in Latin but not in Romance: unselected object contructions, complex directed motion constructions, productive locative alternation, etc. We show, within a syntactic view of argument structure and morphology, that both facts are intimately related. Furthermore, we provide data from Old Catalan showing an intermediate stage between the Latin satellite-framed system and the Romance verb-framed system.

Keywords: Latin; Romance languages; satellite-framed languages; verb-framed languages; argument structure; Path

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Published Online: 2013-01-25

Published in Print: 2013-09-12

Citation Information: International Journal of Latin and Romance Linguistics, Volume 25, Issue 2, Pages 227–265, ISSN (Online) 1613-4079, ISSN (Print) 0921-4771, DOI: https://doi.org/10.1515/probus-2013-0008.

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