To the Right of the Verb: An Investigation of Clitic Doubling and Right Dislocation in Three Spanish Dialects

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9781443880398: To the Right of the Verb: An Investigation of Clitic Doubling and Right Dislocation in Three Spanish Dialects

This study provides a new approach to Spanish clitic doubling, basing the analysis of these constructions on spontaneous data considered within their broad discourse context. This type of analysis appeals to cognitive and pragmatic categories, and advances an explicit comparison between the Argentine, Mexican and Spanish regional variants of the language. This method embraces the graduality and heterogeneity that emerge from natural data, particularly in regard to a phenomenon that represents a change in progress at different stages in the different varieties. It demonstrates that the principle that best captures the conditions governing doubling constructions is the cognitive accessibility assumed of the target referent in the mind of the interlocutor. It distinguishes different subtypes of "doubling," which are taken to represent a variety of points along a continuum of grammaticalization of discourse strategies, with the discourse relation between an anaphor and its antecedent at one end and prototypical grammatical agreement at the other. These different degrees of grammaticalization are apparent when examining the morphophonological and morphosyntactic behavior of dative and accusative clitics in each dialect, and they correlate with the subtypes of "doubling" that are most common in each one. In addition, the book concludes with an examination of these constructions in Role and Reference Grammar, a model that allows the interplay of syntax, semantics and pragmatics evidenced by clitic doubling to be naturally accounted for, and provides a formalization of these structures consistent with the diversity of naturally-occurring data.

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About the Author:

Dr. Valeria Belloro obtained her PhD in Linguistics at the State University of New York at Buffalo. She has lectured at Columbia University, the Universidad de Buenos Aires, the Pontificia Universidad Catolica de Chile, and the Universidad Nacional Autonoma de Mexico, among other institutions, and is currently a full time Professor at the Universidad Autonoma de Queretaro, Mexico. She specializes in the study of the syntax-pragmatics interface, and has published articles examining this topic in Spanish, as well as some of the indigenous languages of Mexico.


"Valeria Belloro's monograph is an essential contribution to understanding the construction of clitic doubling and the conditions that govern its use in various different forms of spoken Spanish. Aimed at lecturers in linguistics, and especially those who work in syntax, semantics and pragmatics, this book is a meticulous exploration of the anaphora between accusative and dative clitics and non-personal pronoun lexical objects. [...] In little more than 150 pages and with over 100 examples, this work condenses and links a complex (but absolutely necessary) theoretical argument in a masterful way with carefully analysed and described empirical data. The result is an indispensable work and an essential reference for scholars of language work, which show that syntax, semantics, pragmatics and cognition all serve speakers' communicative exchanges." Sara Gomez Seibane Universidad de la Rioja Revista de Filologia Espanola, 96 (2016) "To the Right of the Verb has the potential to be of interest to linguists of various persuasions. The way in which it integrates theoretical perspectives with the corpus of the subject in question is certainly exemplary, highlighting points of contact to combine both novel and traditional approaches. For this reason, and maybe more relevantly for those who study other phenomena and/or other languages, it can also be read as a proposed research methodology that bridges the perhaps too pronounced gap between functionalism and formalism. Although this is a frequent appeal from various areas of the discipline nowadays, it is rare to find concrete research that puts it so clearly, systematically and - above all - successfully into practice. A book with such characteristics is always good news." Martin Califa Signo y Sena, 30:2 (2016) "The fact that a specalised work in Spanish, on a very particular syntactic phenomenon, has gone beyond borders and has been published in a research context outside of the Hispanic world invites us to think that the results are relevant for linguistic research in a more universal, typological sense." Valeria Benitez Rosete Universidad Nacional Autonoma de Mexico Estudios de Linguistica Aplicada, 64 (2016)

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