Natural Language & Linguistic Theory

, Volume 13, Issue 4, pp 607–647 | Cite as

Feature structure of Romance clitics

  • Eulàlia Bonet


The combination of pronominal clitics in Romance often triggers the appearence of unexpected (opaque) form, which always coincide with clitics that exist independently in the language. In this article, which analyzes opaque forms in Italian, Spanish, and, especially, Catalan, it is proposed that pronominal clitics constitute hierarchical structures of monovalent morphological features. This hierarchy reflects markedness relations. Most opaque forms are obtained through morphological rules that delink or insert morphological features, thus rendering the target structure identical to the structure of another clitic. Morphological rules take place within the Morphology Component, between S-structure and PF (cf. Halle 1990, 1991). Phonological information, not present in the syntax, is introduced by spell-out rules very late in the Morphology Component and provides the input to PF. Clitic order is determined through mapping to a template. Some other opaque forms arise at that point.


Artificial Intelligence Feature Structure Morphological Feature Hierarchical Structure Target Structure 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.


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Copyright information

© Kluwer Academic Publishers 1995

Authors and Affiliations

  • Eulàlia Bonet
    • 1
  1. 1.Unitat de Filologia Catalana Facultat de Ciències de la Comunicació, Edifici IUniversitat Autònoma de BarcelonaBellaterra (Barcelona)Spain

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