Clitics: Lexicalization Patterns of the So-called 3rd Person Dative


  • Rita Manzini Università di Firenze
  • Leonardo M. Savoia Università di Firenze


Manzini and Savoia (1999, 2001, 2002, to appear) argue that the basic facts about the clitic string are best accounted for without having recourse to anything but a minimalist syntactic compo- nent, i.e. making no use of a specialized morphological component nor of optimality-type com- parisons between derivations/ representations. In particular, they assume that clitics correspond to specialized inflectional categories, and are merged directly into the positions where they surface; such categories are furthermore ordered in a universal hierarchy, as we will detail below. The aim of the present paper is to consider datives in the light of this framework. We will conclude that there is no evidence for the category dative in the Romance dialects we shall consider, while in fact there is evidence for categorizations of so-called dative clitics as quantificational elements or as deictic elements (locatives). In all cases, the relevant categorization relies entirely on referential properties, or more generally on interpretive properties intrinsic to the lexical items involved, calling into question the traditional notion of Case itself.


clitics, Case, mutual exclusion, suppletion, dative, locative, partitive, accusative, si, Italian dialects




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