Competing constraints on the variable placement of direct object clitics in Mexico City Spanish

Scott A. Schwenter, Rena Torres Cacoullos

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

3 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

We utilize variationist methodology to explore the conventionalization and pragmatics of 3rd person direct object clitic placement in Spanish periphrastic constructions. Analysis of 652 tokens extracted from three Mexico City speech corpora indicates that while proclitic position is the majority variant, the rate of enclitic position depends on particular [finite+non-finite verb] constructions, distinguished by frequency measures and more grammaticalized meanings. At the same time, enclisis is favored by propositional or non-referential direct objects and by direct objects of low topic persistence, measured by subsequent mentions. In contrast, proclitic position is favored more by inanimate than human referents, especially those that show topic persistence and whose previous mention was in the syntactic role of direct object in the same or preceding clause. These quantitative patterns suggest that proclisis indicates prototypical DOs in non-prototypical use, i.e. topical inanimates. Thus, despite conventionalization of the general proclitic schema, particular constructions and semantic-pragmatic considerations are operative factors in the variation.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)514-536
Number of pages23
JournalRevista Espanola de Linguistica Aplicada
Volume27
Issue number2
DOIs
StatePublished - Jan 1 2014

Fingerprint

Mexico
persistence
pragmatics
semantics
human being
methodology
Placement
Clitics
Mexico City
Direct Object
Proclitic
Persistence
Conventionalization

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Language and Linguistics
  • Linguistics and Language

Cite this

@article{54b5c5ca2d3a4989b51ba7be86166b30,
title = "Competing constraints on the variable placement of direct object clitics in Mexico City Spanish",
abstract = "We utilize variationist methodology to explore the conventionalization and pragmatics of 3rd person direct object clitic placement in Spanish periphrastic constructions. Analysis of 652 tokens extracted from three Mexico City speech corpora indicates that while proclitic position is the majority variant, the rate of enclitic position depends on particular [finite+non-finite verb] constructions, distinguished by frequency measures and more grammaticalized meanings. At the same time, enclisis is favored by propositional or non-referential direct objects and by direct objects of low topic persistence, measured by subsequent mentions. In contrast, proclitic position is favored more by inanimate than human referents, especially those that show topic persistence and whose previous mention was in the syntactic role of direct object in the same or preceding clause. These quantitative patterns suggest that proclisis indicates prototypical DOs in non-prototypical use, i.e. topical inanimates. Thus, despite conventionalization of the general proclitic schema, particular constructions and semantic-pragmatic considerations are operative factors in the variation.",
author = "Schwenter, {Scott A.} and Cacoullos, {Rena Torres}",
year = "2014",
month = "1",
day = "1",
doi = "10.1075/resla.27.2.13sch",
language = "English (US)",
volume = "27",
pages = "514--536",
journal = "Revista Espanola de Linguistica Aplicada",
issn = "0213-2028",
publisher = "ASOC ESPANOLA LIGUISTICA APLICADA",
number = "2",

}

Competing constraints on the variable placement of direct object clitics in Mexico City Spanish. / Schwenter, Scott A.; Cacoullos, Rena Torres.

In: Revista Espanola de Linguistica Aplicada, Vol. 27, No. 2, 01.01.2014, p. 514-536.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

TY - JOUR

T1 - Competing constraints on the variable placement of direct object clitics in Mexico City Spanish

AU - Schwenter, Scott A.

AU - Cacoullos, Rena Torres

PY - 2014/1/1

Y1 - 2014/1/1

N2 - We utilize variationist methodology to explore the conventionalization and pragmatics of 3rd person direct object clitic placement in Spanish periphrastic constructions. Analysis of 652 tokens extracted from three Mexico City speech corpora indicates that while proclitic position is the majority variant, the rate of enclitic position depends on particular [finite+non-finite verb] constructions, distinguished by frequency measures and more grammaticalized meanings. At the same time, enclisis is favored by propositional or non-referential direct objects and by direct objects of low topic persistence, measured by subsequent mentions. In contrast, proclitic position is favored more by inanimate than human referents, especially those that show topic persistence and whose previous mention was in the syntactic role of direct object in the same or preceding clause. These quantitative patterns suggest that proclisis indicates prototypical DOs in non-prototypical use, i.e. topical inanimates. Thus, despite conventionalization of the general proclitic schema, particular constructions and semantic-pragmatic considerations are operative factors in the variation.

AB - We utilize variationist methodology to explore the conventionalization and pragmatics of 3rd person direct object clitic placement in Spanish periphrastic constructions. Analysis of 652 tokens extracted from three Mexico City speech corpora indicates that while proclitic position is the majority variant, the rate of enclitic position depends on particular [finite+non-finite verb] constructions, distinguished by frequency measures and more grammaticalized meanings. At the same time, enclisis is favored by propositional or non-referential direct objects and by direct objects of low topic persistence, measured by subsequent mentions. In contrast, proclitic position is favored more by inanimate than human referents, especially those that show topic persistence and whose previous mention was in the syntactic role of direct object in the same or preceding clause. These quantitative patterns suggest that proclisis indicates prototypical DOs in non-prototypical use, i.e. topical inanimates. Thus, despite conventionalization of the general proclitic schema, particular constructions and semantic-pragmatic considerations are operative factors in the variation.

UR - http://www.scopus.com/inward/record.url?scp=85046904218&partnerID=8YFLogxK

UR - http://www.scopus.com/inward/citedby.url?scp=85046904218&partnerID=8YFLogxK

U2 - 10.1075/resla.27.2.13sch

DO - 10.1075/resla.27.2.13sch

M3 - Article

AN - SCOPUS:85046904218

VL - 27

SP - 514

EP - 536

JO - Revista Espanola de Linguistica Aplicada

JF - Revista Espanola de Linguistica Aplicada

SN - 0213-2028

IS - 2

ER -