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The Romance Person Case Constraint is not about clitic clusters

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posted on 2023-07-26, 15:06 authored by Michelle Sheehan
This chapter provides further evidence that the Person Case Constraint (PCC) in Romance is not limited to clitic clusters. Previously, this has been shown for Spanish (Ormazabal & Romero 2013), but I show that, in Italian, French, and Catalan causatives, a 1st/2nd person direct object is incompatible not only with dative clitics but also with full dative arguments (see also Postal 1989; Bonet 1991). This is different from the manifestation of the PCC in ditransitive contexts where only dative clitics are ruled out. The difference follows, I argue, if ditransitives in these languages have two underlying structures so that a DP introduced by a/à can be either dative or locative, in line with broader cross-linguistic patterns (see Harley 2002; Demonte 1995; Cuervo 2003 on Spanish; Anagnostopoulou 2003; Fournier 2010 on French; Holmberg et al. 2019 on Italian, and the discussion in the introduction to this volume). For this reason, indirect object DPs marked with a/à must trigger PCC effects in causatives but not in ditransitives, as only in the former are they unambiguously dative. Further support for this claim comes from Spanish, a language which morphologically distinguishes locative vs. dative phrases in ditransitives via clitic doubling (Cuervo 2003) and which shows PCC effects with allanimate direct objects (Ormazabal & Romero 2007, 2013). I show that these facts are compatible with approaches to the PCC based on intervention (Anagnostopoulou 2003, 2005 amongst others), but raise challenges for those which rely crucially on the weak/clitic status of datives (Bianchi 2006; Stegovec 2017).



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Language Science Press

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Berlin, Germany

Title of book

Dative constructions in Romance and beyond




Anna Pineda, Jaume Mateu

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  • Published version


  • eng

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Faculty of Arts, Humanities & Social Sciences

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