Clitic doubling constructions are problematic for most theories of sentence structure, which assume that every argument of a predicate is instantiated only once. Research on direct object clitic doubling (DOCLD) has focused on issues of syntactic representation and on restrictions on the cooccurrence of direct object clitics and lexical NPs, and the possible semantic interpretations of doubled direct objects. What is lacking is a clear analysis of the pragmatic functions these constructions have, which also impact the syntax and semantics of DOCLD. Crucially, this paper looks in detail at factors driving lexical NP expression and discriminates these from factors that drive expression of a clitic. Drawing on evidence from a corpus of Rioplatense Spanish, this work offers a principled explanation for the occurrence of DOCLD and makes predictions about the conditions under which speakers choose to encode both a cliticized and an independent direct object argument.
Selected Proceedings of the 8th Hispanic Linguistics Symposium
edited by Timothy L. Face and Carol A. Klee
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