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Title:The Best Clitic: Constraint Conflict in Morphosyntax
Authors:Jane Grimshaw
Abstract:The Best Clitic: Constraint Conflict in Morphosyntax

Jane Grimshaw

Rutgers University

This paper presents an analysis of object clitic pronouns in

Romance; Italian and Spanish in particular. The occurrence of

unexpected clitic forms in certain combinations is argued to

follow from the effects of a constraint against duplication of

clitics. This constraint conflicts with faithfulness constraints

which impose faithfulness to input morphosyntactic specifications

for case, person, number etc. The ranking of the anti-

duplication constraint relative to key faithfulness constraints

determines whether a grammar allows duplication, or selects

instead a clitic which is less faithful to the input than the

clitic which would occur in isolation. The representation of the

clitics, as partially specified clusters of morphosyntactic

properties, interacts crucially with the faithfulness

constraints, which prefer partially specified (less marked)

clitic outputs to those which are more fully specified but

contradict the input more.
Type:Paper/tech report
Article:Version 1