Natural Language & Linguistic Theory

, Volume 13, Issue 4, pp 607–647

Feature structure of Romance clitics

  • Eulàlia Bonet

DOI: 10.1007/BF00992853

Cite this article as:
Bonet, E. Nat Lang Linguist Theory (1995) 13: 607. doi:10.1007/BF00992853


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.

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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