The paper investigates the conditions that determine the distribution of object pronouns in the period before the latter become fixed to the post-verbal position. In the transition between Old English and Early Middle English (henceforth OE and EME), object pronouns surface to the left of T, to the left of V and to the right of V. It will be shown that the distribution in the pre-T and post-V positions in OE is due to information structural and prosodic interface conditions, whereas the position at the left of V is analysed as unmarked.In EME, the pre-T position continues to be linked to topicalization, whereas the pre-V position shows a progressively less frequent distribution. The post-verbal mapping of object pronouns can still be linked to prosodic1 and information structural (IS) mapping conditions, but the data show that the post- verbal position was on the way to being reanalysed as the unmarked position.The change will be attributed to two factors: a) the new option of de-accentuation in situ, leading pronouns to choose the non-finite verb as their phonological host, and b) the grammaticalization of the definite determiner that renders light (non-branching and left-branching) objects into right-branching, heavy objects at the end of the OE period. We will provide evidence that it is the latter factor that leads to the new option of de-accenting pronouns in situ (cf. Hinterholzl 2017).
De Bastiani, Chiara (Corresponding)
Hinterholzl, Roland (Corresponding)
|Data di pubblicazione:||2020|
|Titolo:||On the syntax of object pronouns in Old English and Early Middle English|
|Digital Object Identifier (DOI):||http://dx.doi.org/10.5334/gjgl.890|
|Appare nelle tipologie:||2.1 Articolo su rivista |