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Microvariation within Differential Object Marking

Abstract : It is well known that in certain Romance languages the direct object may be introduced or not by a marker which is homonymous with a corresponding preposition: pe in Romanian, a in Spanish and Sardinian. This phenomenon is known as Differential Object Marking (DOM). The aim of this paper is twofold. On the one hand, we present a detailed description of the distribution of DOM in Romance. On the other hand, we sketch a generalization correlating DOM with the denotation of the noun that functions as a direct object. We begin by briefly examining the parameters that generally determine DOM. Then we compare Romance marked constructions and describe the similarities and the differences between the three languages presenting this phenomenon. After reviewing a number of previous analyses, we finally adopt a proposal based on the semantic type of the direct object (cf. Cornilescu & Dobrovie-Sorin (2007)). This proposal may be expressed as a twofold generalization: (i) DOM is obligatory only for those objects that are necessarily -type (within the appropriate class of nouns, i.e. nouns with the feature [+ human]); (ii) DOM is excluded with those objects that have a property denotation, i.e. nouns that are -type.
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Submitted on : Wednesday, January 12, 2011 - 11:26:39 PM
Last modification on : Wednesday, October 27, 2021 - 2:13:26 PM
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Alexandru Mardale. Microvariation within Differential Object Marking. Revue roumaine de linguistique, 2008, LIII (4), pp.448-467. ⟨halshs-00555311⟩

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