The Person-Case constraint and repair strategies Eulàlia Bonet [May 2007] - PDF

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The Person-Case constraint and repair strategies Eulàlia Bonet [May 2007] To appear in: Roberta d Alessandro, Susann Fischer, Gunnar Hrafn Hrafnbjargarson (eds.) Person Restrictions, Mouton de Gruyter.

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The Person-Case constraint and repair strategies Eulàlia Bonet [May 2007] To appear in: Roberta d Alessandro, Susann Fischer, Gunnar Hrafn Hrafnbjargarson (eds.) Person Restrictions, Mouton de Gruyter. 1. The Person-Case constraint 1 Sentences like (1), from Catalan, are ungrammatical. 2 (1) *Al director, me li ha recomanat la Mireia to-the director, 1Sg 3Sg.Dat has recommended the Mireia As for the director, Mireia has recommended me to him Crucial to the ungrammaticality of (1) is the fact that it contains two clitics, which correspond to the direct object, Direct Object (me), and the indirect object, Indirect Object (li), and where the Direct Object clitic is first person and the Indirect Object clitic is third person. If the roles were reversed (first person corresponding to the Indirect Object and third person corresponding to the Direct Object), no conflict would arise, as illustrated in (2). (2) El director, me l ha recomanat la Mireia the director, 1Sg 3Sg.Acc has recommended the Mireia As for the director, Mireia has recommended him to me If (1) did not contain a left dislocated element (al director) no resumptive clitic pronoun with the function of Indirect Object would be required and the sentence would also be grammatical. (3) La Mireia m ha recomanat al director the Mireia 1Sg has recommended to-the director Mireia has recommended me to the director The ungrammaticality of (1), noticed for Spanish and French by Perlmutter (1971), is attributed in Bonet (1991) to the *Me-lui/I-II Constraint, later called 2 Eulàlia Bonet the Person-Case constraint (PCC). This constraint, claimed there to be universal, is present in languages that have pronominal clitics, like the Romance languages, languages with weakened pronouns, like English, and languages that have a rich agreement system, like Southern Tiwa. The constraint, thus, affects complexes of ϕ-features related to the argumental structure of the verb. The most common context for the Person-Case Constraint is ditransitive clauses, even though other constructions that can trigger it are causative constructions, and constructions with datives of inalienable possession, for instance. In (1) the effects of the Person-Case Constraint are shown with a first person clitic corresponding to the Direct Object, but ungrammaticality would also arise with a second person clitic (singular or plural). Combinations of two third person clitics do not usually lead to ungrammaticality, even though they often trigger changes not relevant here. The judgements on combinations of first and second person clitics, illustrated in (4), seem to vary a lot. In some languages, these combinations are ungrammatical, while in others, like Catalan, they are grammatical for some speakers, and plainly ungrammatical for others. An additional set of speakers of Catalan accept them in only one of the possible readings, but the judgements as to which one is preferrable seem to vary from speaker to speaker. 3,4 (4) (*) Te m ha recomanat la Mireia 2Sg 1Sg has recommended the Mireia a. Mireia has recommended me to you b. Mireia has recommended you to me This difference in behavior led Bonet (1991) to posit a strong version of the constraint, for speakers who do not accept sentences like (4), and a weak version of it, for speakers who do accept such combinations. These two versions were stated as follows ((5) corresponds to Bonet 1991: 182, (11)). (5) *Me lui / I-II Constraint a. STRONG VERSION: the direct object has to be third person b. WEAK VERSION: if there is a third person it has to be the direct object The PCC and repair strategies 3 In recent years much work has been devoted to the constraint, mostly in its strong version. Here I will also assume it only in the strong version (for an account of the differences between the strong and the weak version of the Person-Case Constraint, see Ormazábal and Romero 2007; Nevins 2007). Most of the proposed accounts of the Person-Case Constraint that have been made are syntactic (see, among the more recent ones, Anagnastopoulou 2003, Ormazábal and Romero 2002, 2007, Adger and Harbour 2007), even though morphological approaches also exist (see, for instance, Miller and Sag 1997 or Boeckx 2000). 5 Another line of research has related the Person-Case Constraint to other constructions, like Icelandic quirky subjects (see, for instance, Taraldsen 1995, Sigur sson 1996, Boeckx 2000, or Hrafnbjargarson 2001). The goal of this paper is neither to take a stand on the morphological or syntactic nature of the Person-Case Constraint (which partially depends on the framework assumed) nor to concentrate on environments sensitive to the constraint, but to focus on the repair strategy that Catalan uses in ditransitives to avoid it and to see how well it can be accounted for in three recent syntactic proposals that have been made on the nature of the Person-Case Constraint. The rest of the paper is organized as follows: in section 2, the Catalan strategy to overcome the effects of the Person-Case Constraint in ditransitives is described, and it is suggested that the resulting clitic is related to the Indirect Object; it is not a locative clitic, as it could seem at first sight, given the shape the clitic has. It is also argued that this clitic is devoid of all features except case. Section 3 contains a summary of three different recent accounts, namely Ormazábal and Romero (2007), Anagnastopoulou (2003), and Adger and Harbour (2007); the Catalan strategy is contrasted with each one of these syntactic accounts, and it is shown that it poses serious problems especially for the proposal by Adger and Harbour (2007). Finally, section 4 includes some concluding remarks. 2. Change of clitic as a repair strategy in Catalan Many languages overcome the effects of the Person-Case Constraint by avoiding one of the clitics or agreement elements that enter the constraint. For instance, Spanish uses a strong pronoun instead of one of the clitics (the one 4 Eulàlia Bonet corresponding to the Indirect Object), as is illustrated in (6). (6a) does not present any problems because only one pronoun is present (the Indirect Object being a full Determiner Phrase); (6b) violates the Person-Case constraint and is therefore ungrammatical; finally, (6c) has a strong pronoun preceded by a preposition, a él, which avoids the presence of a conflicting Indirect Object clitic. (6) a. Me recomendó a Pedro 1Sg recommended to Pedro S/he recommended me to Pedro b. *Me le recomendó 1Sg 3Sg.Dat recommended c. Me recomendó a él 1Sg recommended to him S/he recommended me to him The strategy used by Catalan in ditransitives is very different: two clitics are kept, but one of them, the one corresponding to the Indirect Object changes its shape; instead of the third person clitic li /li/ the clitic hi /i/ shows up. 6 (7a) illustrates the change of clitic; (7b) is ungrammatical because it contains a third person dative pronoun, the expected one, and thus causes a violation of the Person-Case Constraint. (7) a. Al president, m hi ha recomanat en Miquel to-the president, 1Sg hi has recommended the Miquel As for the president, Miquel has recommended me to him b. *Al president, me li ha recomanat en to-the president, 1Sg 3Sg.Dat has recommended the Miquel Miquel As for the president, Miquel has recommended me to him As far as I know, in the recent literature on the Person-Case Constraint this repair strategy is only taken into consideration in Anagnastopoulou (2003), discussed in section 3.2, and Nevins (2007). Both of them interpret the clitic The PCC and repair strategies 5 hi as a locative, a non-agreeing clitic that avoids the effects of the constraint. The clitic hi is in fact used as a locative clitic in Catalan, as (8) illustrates. (8) A Matadapera, avui no hi seré, però hi aniré demà to Matadepera, today not hi will-be, but hi will-go tomorrow As for Matadepera, I will not be there today, but I will go there tomorrow But is the hi used in (7a) really a locative clitic, like the ones that appear in (8)? Rigau (1978), (1982) has argued that the clitic hi is also an inanimate dative. 7 When an animate Indirect Object is represented by a clitic, the clitic is li, as shown in (9b) (Rigau 1982, (3a)); but when, in the same construction, the Indirect Object is inanimate it can be represented by the clitic hi, as shown in (10b) (Rigau 1982, (5a)). (9) a. En Joan donà cops a la Maria the Joan gave blows to the Maria Joan struck Maria b. En Joan li donà cops the Joan 3Sg.Dat gave blows Joan struck her (10) a. En Joan donà cops a la porta the Joan gave blows to the door Joan struck the door b. En Joan hi donà cops the Joan hi gave blows Joan struck it Even though li can also be used for inanimate datives, hi cannot be used with animates, as shown in (11). (11) a. En Joan li donà cops (a la porta) the Joan 3Sg.Dat gave blows (to the door) Joan struck it 6 Eulàlia Bonet b. *En Joan hi donà cops (a la Maria) the Joan hi gave blows (to the Maria) Joan struck her The difference between (10b) and (11a) is that (10b) has an interpretation of goal plus location, while (11a) is interpreted more like an affected goal. The hi present in Person-Case Constraint environments, as in (7a), does not have at all the interpretation of a location; it is interpreted only as a goal. It is not always the case that hi with inanimates is used with a locative interpretation, as illustrated by (12b) and (13b); again (12b) and (13b) differ from (12a) and (13a) only in terms of animacy of the Indirect Object and the use of the clitic ((12) corresponds to Rigau 1978, (7); examples very similar to the ones in (12) and (13) can be found in Rigau 1982). (12) a. A la meva filla, li dedico molt de temps to the my daughter, 3Sg.Dat devote lot of time As for my daughter, I devote lots of time to her b. A això, hi dedico molt de temps to this, hi devote lot of time As for this, I devote lots of time to it (13) a. Als empresaris, el Govern els concedeix to-the businessmen, the Government 3Pl.Dat give molta importància lot importance As for the businessmen, the goverment gives them a lot of importance b. A les crítiques, el Govern hi concedeix molta to the criticisms, the Government hi gives lot importància importance As for the criticism, the Government gives them a lot of importance Rigau (1978), (1982) also argues that inanimate Indirect Objects like the one in (10b) have a very different behavior from real locatives in other respects. For instance, when donar cops give blows is replaced by the verb The PCC and repair strategies 7 colpejar to strike, the Indirect Object becomes a Direct Object, and this happens regardless of the animacy of the Indirect Object, as shown in (14) and (15); notice that (14b) and (15b) are identical. (14) a. En Joan colpeja la Maria the Joan strikes the Maria Joan strikes Maria b. En Joan la colpeja the Joan 3Fem.Sg.Acc strikes Joan strikes her (15) a. En Joan colpeja la porta the Joan strikes the door Joan strikes the table b. En Joan la colpeja the Joan 3Fem.Sg.Acc strikes Joan strikes it Real locatives can never become a Direct Oject when a light verb plus a noun is replaced by a verb. (16) shows that the locative argument a Roma to Rome is replaced by the clitic hi ((16a) corresponds to Rigau 1982, (7a)). In (17) (Rigau 1982, (7b,c)), with the verb viatjar, the locative a Roma stays a locative and is replaced by hi, not by an accusative clitic. (16) a. En Joan fa un viatge a Roma the Joan makes a journey to Rome Joan makes a journey to Rome b. En Joan hi fa un viatge the Joan hi makes a journey Joan makes a journey there (17) a. En Joan viatja a Roma the Joan travels to Rome Joan travels to Rome 8 Eulàlia Bonet b. En Joan hi viatja the Joan hi travels Joan travels there Finally, Rigau (1978), (1982) shows that in wh- questions inanimate datives receive a different pronoun than real locatives (inanimate datives receive a què to what, while real locatives receive on where ). 8 An additional difference between the clitic li and the clitic hi is that li is inflected for number (not gender), while hi has no inflection at all. The normative form of the plural of li is els (identical to a third person accusative masculine plural clitic), while its colloquial form in most dialects is (e)lzi. (18) a. Li donaré un cop (a la noia) 3Sg.Dat will-give a blow (to the.fem.sg girl.fem.sg) I will strike her (the girl) b. Els / elzi donaré un cop (a les noies) 3Pl.Dat will-give a blow (to the.fem.pl girl.fem.pl) I will strike them (the girls) (19) a. Hi donaré un cop (a la taula) hi will-give a blow (to the.fem.sg table.fem.sg) I will strike it (the table) b. Hi donaré un cop (a les taules) hi will-give a blow (to the.fem.pl table.fem.pl) I will strike them (the tables) Linguists like Viaplana (1980), and Mascaró (1986) (also Bonet 1991, using a different set of features) have interpreted the colloquial form (e)lzi of the the third person plural dative clitic as expressing dative case through the morph /i/, the same morph that appears in the singular li; the morph /l/ expresses third person both in the dative and the accusative. (20) Dative clitics li and (e)lzi a. /l/: third person b. /z/: plural c. /i/: dative The PCC and repair strategies 9 Under this view, the clitic hi that appears in (19) and other sentences, which has been argued to be an inanimate dative, is the /i/ morph corresponding to dative case in (20c). Hi /i/ expresses case, but not gender, number or person. 3. Three recent syntactic approaches to the Person-Case constraint and their compatibility with the hi strategy In this section I review three recent accounts of the Person-Case Constraint and contrast them with the strategy to the Person-Case Constraint that has been presented in section 2. These three accounts are Ormazábal and Romero (2007), Anagnastopoulou (2003), and Adger and Harbour (2007). It will be shown that two of them could accomodate it, while the third one runs into very serious problems Ormazábal and Romero (2007) The aim of Ormazábal and Romero (2007) is to arrive at more adequate generalizations concerning the Person-Case constraint, rather than to give a detailed technical account of their findings. They do argue in favor of a syntactic approach, as opposed to a morphological account, based on several observations. Even though most approaches to the Person-Case Constraint make crucial reference to person (with first person and second person being banned in object position), Ormazábal and Romero (2007) give evidence that what is relevant to the constraint is rather the feature [animate]. The feature [animate] is inherently present in first and second person, and only third person can make a distinction between [+animate] and [ animate]. 9 The evidence that Ormazábal and Romero (2007) give comes mostly from leísta dialects of Spanish, which are spoken in different areas of Spain. Contrary to Standard Spanish, in which the accusative clitic is lo/la/los/las for both animates and inanimates, in some leísta dialects lo/la/los/la is reserved for inanimates, while animates have the clitic le/les (homophonous with the third person 10 Eulàlia Bonet dative clitic). The examples in (21) correspond to Ormazábal and Romero (2007), (15). (21) a. Lo vi 3Sg.Acc [ animate] saw.1sg I saw it b. Le vi 3Sg.Acc [+animate] saw.1sg I saw him/her In ditransitive contexts with a third person accusative clitic and a first or second person dative clitic, leísta dialects show a clear contrast between inanimate and animate objects, as shown in (22), which corresponds to Ormazábal and Romero (2007), (16). (22) a. Te lo di 2Sg.Dat 3Sg.Acc gave I gave it to you b. *Te le di 2Sg.Dat 3Sg.Acc gave I gave him/her to you If the Person-Case Constraint were about person, the contrast between (22a) and (22b) would be a mystery, since in both cases the accusative clitic is third person. If one assumes that animacy and not person is relevant, the ungrammaticality of (22b) can readily be attributed to the constraint. As mentioned earlier, Ormazábal and Romero (2007) do not provide a fully-fledged analysis of the Person-Case Constraint but they propose that the Person-Case Constraint should actually be split into one generalization, the Object Animacy Generalization, reproduced in (23), and a constraint called the Object Agreement Constraint, reproduced in (24). 10 (23) Object Animacy Generalization: Object relations, in contrast to subject and applied object relations, are sensitive to animacy. The PCC and repair strategies 11 (24) Object Agreement Constraint (OAC): If the verbal complex encodes object agreement, no other argument can be licensed through verbal agreement. In order to account for the ungrammaticality of (1), with a typical Person- Case Constraint violation, an additional claim is made: Direct Object agreement takes place only if the Direct Object is animate; if it is inanimate it does not agree (and this is fine). 11 Given the generalization in (23), animacy is irrelevant for the Indirect Object; for that argument (the applied object), agreement always has to take place. In sentences like (2), in which the Direct Object is third person (not specified for animacy), there is no Direct Object agreement and therefore the Indirect Object can agree freely; this situation appears schematized in (25a). Examples like (1) are ruled out because, since there must be agreement with the Direct Object (it is [+animate]), the Indirect Object cannot agree and the derivation crashes, as the bomb indicates in (25b). (25) a. PCC / OAC satisfied: object applied object (DO) (IO) [ animate] agreement b. PCC / OAC violated: object applied object (DO) (IO) [+animate] agreement agreement Notice that the situation schematized in (25b) is applicable also to sentences like (22b), *Te le di I gave him to you, from leísta dialects, in which there is a Person-Case Constraint / Object Agreement Constraint violation in spite of the fact that the accusative clitic is third person: the presence of the [+animate] feature in the Direct Object, which causes the presence of the le clitic, forces agreement with the Direct Object and therefore blocks the also necessary agreement with the Indirect Object, and the derivation crashes. 12 Eulàlia Bonet Ormazábal and Romero (2007) prefer not to include animacy in the constraint itself, and include it in a separate generalization, (23), because from a theoretical perspective it is hard to see why animate agreement should behave so differently from inanimate agreement (Ormazábal and Romero 2007: 24); they leave this issue unresolved. The Object Animacy Generalization in (23) comes from the observation that in several languages there is only agreement with animates (like in KiRimi or Mohawk) and that in many other languages there are specific relations between the verb and animate internal arguments. The empirical evidence for excluding applied objects (the Indirect Object) from the generalization in (23) comes from Spanish data, and they use these data to argue against analyses of the Person-Case Constraint based on competition, such as Anagnastopoulou (2003), to be discussed in section 3.2. As shown in (26) (Ormazábal and Romero 2007, (54)), the clitic le is also used for inanimate applied objects in Spanish. (26) Le pongo la pata a la mesa 3Sg.Dat put the leg to the table I assemble the leg to the table In (forced) contexts in which the Direct Object is replaced with a first or second person clitic, the sentence becomes ungrammatical ((27) corresponds to Ormazábal and Romero 2007, (55)). (27) CONTEXT: I'm fed up; if you mention that the table is missing a leg once again and do nothing to fix it a. te pongo a ti (de pata) en la mesa 2ACC put-1sgsubj A you (as leg) in the table 'I assemble you as a leg in the table' b. * te le pongo a ti (de pata) a la mesa 2ACC 3DAT put-1sgsubj A you (as leg) to the table 'I assemble you as a leg
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