Sedyl - Structure et Dynamique des Langues - UMR8202 - CELIA

Archives de la recherche

02-10-2015Séminaire doctoral - Théories et données linguistiques
Animé par A. Donabédian et A. Mardale
INALCO - S.3.03 - 14h00-18h00

Alexandru MARDALE (INaLCO – SeDyL)
Romanian DOM revisited

In the first part of this presentation, we provide a critical examination of the most currently assumed hypotheses for the analysis of differential object marking (DOM) in Romanian. More precisely, we will show that p(r)e is neither (i) a disambiguation marker between subject and direct object (cf. the functionalist account, see Niculescu 1965, Guţu Romalo 1973, Pană Dindelegan 1997, 1999, Sala 1999), (ii) nor a Case marker (whose role is to assign Case to the object when it is doubled by a pronominal clitic (cf. Kayne’s generalization (Kayne 1975, 1991), and also Tasmowski 1987, Manoliu-Manea 1989, Dobrovie-Sorin 1994, Hill & Tasmowski 2008, Tigău 2010, 2014), (iii) nor a marker of the so-called personal gender (cf. the morpho-lexical approach, see Spitzer 1928, Graur 1945, Cornilescu 2000).
In the second part of the presentation, we propose - following Antonov & Mardale (2014), - a different line of investigation, in which the triggers are independent of syntactic requirements and those key of understanding lies in the understanding of the origin and status of p(r)e, which ensures DOM in Romanian.

The new proposal is that p(r)e suffered a gradual attrition, by which its concrete semantics (the one of a lexical preposition (on, at, across, during)) becomes abstract (about / concerning); then the abstract meaning is reanalyzed as a topicalization property under discourse triggers; the last step is the complete desemanticization, by which the Topic marker p(r)e becomes a grammatical tool for marking the syntactic argumental position (Iemmolo 2010, Dalrymple & Nikolaeva 2011)

(3)       lexical preposition (concrete: locative, temporal)  

            lexical preposition (abstract: as for / concerning)     
                                                         topic marker                     (old romanian)
                                                         dom  marker                 (modern romanian)