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INFOLING  December 1998

INFOLING December 1998

Subject:

Tesis doctoral: D. NIEUWENHUIJSEN. 1998. Cambios en la colocación de los pronombres átonos en la historia del español

From:

Carlos Subirats Rüggeberg <[log in to unmask]>

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Date:

Mon, 14 Dec 1998 12:46:25 +0100

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INFOLING Lista moderada de lingüística española
http://listserv.rediris.es/archives/infoling.html
Envío de información: [log in to unmask]
Editor: Carlos Subirats Rüggeberg <[log in to unmask]>
Colaboradoras:
Paola Bentivoglio <[log in to unmask]>, UCV
Eulalia de Bobes <[log in to unmask]>, UAB
Mar Cruz <[log in to unmask]>, UB
Emma Martinell <[log in to unmask]>, UB
____________________________________________________________

                       Tesis doctoral:
    D. NIEUWENHUIJSEN. 1998. Cambios en la colocación de
    los pronombres átonos en la historia del español
____________________________________________________________

1. Autora:
   Dorien NIEUWENHUIJSEN

2. Título de la tesis:
   Cambios en la colocación de los pronombres átonos
   en la historia del español

   2.1 Número de páginas: 201
   2.2 Palabras clave: lingüística española, diacronía,
   sintaxis diacrónica, español antiguo, pronombres átonos,
   posición de los pronombres átonos


3. Fecha de lectura:
   19 de febrero de 1998

4. Departamento, centro o laboratorio en el que se ha
   desarrollado la tesis:
   Universidad de Groningen, Facultad de Letras

5. Director de la tesis:
   Dr. J.P. Vet

6. Proyecto o línea de investigación en el que se incluye:
   Lingüística histórica del español


7. Resumen en inglés (de la tesis escrita en español):

    This study analyses the position of the unstressed
personal pronoun (UPP) with regard to the verb in Old
Spanish. The investigation, which includes quantitative as
well as qualitative data, is of a diachronic nature and is
based on a corpus of examples dating from the thirteenth to
the seventeenth century.

    In chapter 2 we discuss the most relevant literature
relating to the position of the UPP in Old Spanish. In doing
so we note that, whereas almost all studies present a
detailed description of the possible positions of the UPP in
different syntactic contexts, generally, they are not able
to relate the position of the UPP to any general syntactic
or functional principle of pronoun placement. Moreover,
studies that describe the position of the UPP diachronically
do not link the different rules for pronoun placement they
find in different periods, neither do they seek for an
explanation of the changes these rules have undergone.

    In chapter 3 we analyse the position of the UPP on the
basis of our own corpus, after studying its nature in Old
Spanish. Based on a quantitative analysis we find that to a
certain degree the UPP is syntactically independent and
shares certain characteristics with an nominal phrase,
since, just as a nominal phrase, it can appear before as
well as after the verb and in preverbal position it can be
separated from the verb by another constituent
(interpolation). However, phonologically we are dealing with
a weak, unstressed, enclitic pronoun that always needs
another preceding stressed word to lean on. Especially the
thirteenth-century texts show this last characteristic with
their numerous cases of apocope.

    Chapter 4 deals with the position of the UPP with regard
to the finite verb in the thirteenth and fourteenth century.
Although our first analysis, based on three texts which
cover the two centuries just mentioned, seems to demonstrate
that prepositioning of the UPP increases steadily, on closer
investigation this turns out not to be the case. Dividing
the data into main en subordinate clauses we find that in
both categories the percentage of preposed UPPs stays more
or less the same in the thirteenth and fourteenth century:
whereas preposition is little frequent in main clauses, the
UPP is almost exclusively preposed to the verb in
subordinate clauses. We conclude that the general increase
of preposition is caused by the fact that in our texts the
number of subordinate clauses has grown in the course of
time.

    Further analysis shows that variation in pronoun
placement occurs especially in a certain group of main
clauses. In these clauses we subjected the position of the
UPP to a pragmatic analysis. Our starting-point was the idea
that the preverbal position of the UPP is numerically marked
and, thus, prepositioning may increase the attention of the
hearer. It is then argued that this increased attention is
used by the speaker to underscore the relative importance of
the referent of the UPP.

    The relative importance of a referent is reflected by a
number of hierarchies that are possibly relevant for the
study of the position of the UPP, namely, the person
hierarchy, the animacy hierarchy, the gender hierarchy and
the agentivity hierarchy. An analysis of our examples based
on these hierarchies shows that the importance of the
referent of the UPP in Old Spanish conforms to the person
hierarchy, i.e. UPPs which refer to a first or second person
are almost exclusively preposed, whereas UPPs which refer to
a third person most frequently appear behind de verb.

    Nevertheless, UPPs referring to a third person are also
preposed to the verb, which implies that in these cases the
speaker also wishes to draw the hearer's special attention.
This special attention turns out to be necessary if the
referent of the UPP is less predictable, either because
there is a large distance between the UPP and its nominal
phrase referent or because there is some other nominal
phrase present between the UPP and its real nominal phrase
referent which could be interpreted as the referent of the
UPP.

    We conclude, therefore, that pronoun placement in Old
Spanish serves a clear communicative goal and is based on
pragmatic considerations. The speaker attracts the hearer's
special attention to the interpretation of the UPP, either
because its referent is more important or because it is less
predictable.

    In chapter 4 we also treat the absolute prepositioning
or postpositioning in the remaining main clauses and in
subordinate clauses. In our discussion the clause-initial
position P1 (cf. Dik 1989: 348f, 359f) plays a central part.
It is argued that in clauses with absolute preposition, P1
is filled with a P1-constituent, which is a constituent that
can only appear in clause-initial position. In these cases,
P1 cannot be used for pragmatic purposes, i.e. to prepose a
constituent with topic or focus function, which is possible
in other clauses. The lack of pragmatic possibilities for P1
coincides with the impossibility to prepose the UPP for
pragmatic reasons. We argue that the absolute prepositioning
of the UPP in clauses with a P1-constituent in P1 is
accounted for by the principle of increasing complexity, a
constituent ordering principle which states that relatively
less complex constituents tend to appear earlier in the
linear sequence than other more complex ones with a similar
function.

    In clauses with only postposition of the UPP, P1 is
occupied by the verb for pragmatic reasons. Although
theoretically the UPP could be preposed to attract the
hearer's special attention, prepositioning is blocked
phonologically, since in these cases the UPP, a weak,
enclitic element, would be the first constituent of the
clause and, therefore, would lack any preceding stressed
word to lean on. This explains why the UPP always is
postponed when the verb is clause-initial.

    In chapter 5 we describe the period that starts with the
fifteenth century. In this century the number of cases with
preposition of the UPP grows explosively. We find that the
increase of preposed UPPs occurs in the group of main
clauses that in the preceding period presented pronoun
placement based on pragmatic considerations. A further
analysis shows that the increase can be attributed to an
overuse of the pragmatic principle of pronoun placement,
especially to the factor of distance between the UPP and its
referent; the UPP is increasingly preposed if this distance
is relatively small.

    An increase of the number of cases with preposition
involves a situation in which the position before the verb
numerically becomes increasingly less marked and therefore
pragmatically less effective to draw the hearer's special
attention. In that situation, it is claimed, the real motive
for prepositioning can become blurred and this, in turn, can
lead to a reanalysis in which prepositioning is related to
the presence of one or more words before the verb, which,
incidentally, always is the case with prepositioning. This
reanalysis can originate a new rule for pronoun placement
according to which the UPP is placed before the verb if at
least one word precedes. Whether P1 is occupied by a
P1-constituent or a pragmatically important constituent is
now no longer relevant for the positioning of the UPP. In
the fifteenth century we find the UPP appearing invariably
before the verb if more than one word precedes;
postpositioning is usual if only one word precedes or if the
verb stands in clause-initial position. This development, so
it is claimed, will be favoured by the fact that
prepositioning leads to a phonological pattern that fits the
general Spanish stress-pattern, which stresses the last or
penultimate syllable of a word.

    Next, we describe the last step in the development, i.e.
the extension of prepositioning to all contexts with a
finite verb. This step is a logical one in view of the fact
that by the end of the sixteenth century we encounter a
situation in which the majority of the finite verbs shows
prepositioning of the UPP and only a very small part -if the
verb stands in clause-initial position- maintains
postpositioning, whereas with non-finite verbs
postpositioning is usual. Moreover, in this period variation
of pronoun placement is no longer due to pragmatic reasons
but only a residue from an earlier linguistic phase.
 Nevertheless, the last context of postpositioning can only
be conquered when the UPP ceases to be phonologically
dependent on the preceding word and the verb becomes the
decisive factor that motives the positioning of the UPP.
These circumstances occur from the fifteenth century
onwards, which the disappearance of cases of interpolation,
as well as cases of apocope, seem to prove.

    To conclude the analysis with regard to finite verbes,
we argue that cases of the imperative do not follow the
general tendency of prepositioning, because with these verb
forms postpositioning is communicatively functional. Since
these forms are often identical with forms of the indicative
or subjunctive mood, the position of the UPP is the only
indication which form is meant and therefore, which
speech-act the speaker intends to perform.

    Chapter 6 treats the development of the position of the
UPP with non-finite verbs, i.e. the infinitive and the
gerundio. Apparently, these forms seem to develop steadily
towards prepositioning of the UPP, which abruptly stops by
the end of the sixteenth century. However, a further
analysis shows that the percentage of preposed UPPs
increases only in cases in which the infinitive is
introduced by a preposition and that in this construction
from the fourteenth century on prepositioning is almost
absolute; with the remaining non-finite verbs prepositioning
has always been very rare.

    In order to explain the cases of preposed UPPs with the
infinitive introduced by a preposition, we again turn to the
notion of P1. We claim that the preposition is a
P1-constituent that fills P1 of the infinitive-clause. As in
clauses with a finite verb and a P1-constituent in P1, it is
argued, prepositioning of the UPP in infinitive-clauses
introduced by a preposition obeys the principle of
increasing complexity.

    The appearance of the first cases of preposition in the
fourteenth century is attributed to the fact that, whereas
in the preceding century the only frequently occurring
preposition was por, by then the infinitive-clause is
characterized by a large increase in the use of different
prepositions. We claim that the use of different
prepositions will strengthen the notion that we are dealing
with a construction in which P1 is occupied by a
P1-constituent and, subsequently, the principle of
increasing complexity can become operative, which favours
prepositioning. Our analysis demonstrates that the first
cases of prepositioning with an infinitive-clause introduced
by a preposition occur especially with the preposition de.
This, in turn, is explained on the basis of the syntactic
similarity between de and que, the latter being an
outstanding example of a P1-constituent. Because of this
similarity the principle of increasing complexity could have
become operative earlier in cases with de than with other
prepositions.

    The development of the positioning of the UPP with
non-finite verbs comes to a standstill by the end of the
sixteenth century, when the examples show a return to
postposition. In view of the fact that the verb has come to
play a central part in pronoun placement -the UPP has become
syntactically as well as phonologically dependent on the
verb- and in view of the situation of pronoun placement
existing by the end of the sixteenth century -mainly
prepositioning with finite verbs, mainly postpositioning
with non-finite verbs- it is claimed to be hardly surprising
that the postponed UPP increasingly drives back its preposed
counterpart. This leads to the modern rule for pronoun
placement, in which the presence of a P1-constituent in P1
has ceased to be relevant for the placement of the UPP;
instead, the verb is the basis for pronoun placement.

    In chapter 7 we present our most important findings.
While describing the development of pronoun placement as a
case of grammaticalization, we discuss the question why at a
certain moment in time the pragmatic principle is being used
more frequently, which leads to the far-reaching
consequences mentioned above. It is argued that the increase
of the preposed UPP cases with infinitive-clauses introduced
by a preposition could have given the first impulse to the
increase of prepositioning with finite verbs that show
variation in placement. Because of the former increase
prepositioning is becoming more frequent overall and thus
less marked. In spite of this, it should be borne in mind
that this change could only take place because the pragmatic
principle of pronoun placement showed some weak spots
already. Although communicatively it was a useful device to
the speaker, it could be used only in certain contexts, i.e.
in part of the main clauses.

    The fifteenth-century placement rule, in which
prepositioning of the UPP is related to the presence of some
elements that precede the verb, is based on a principle
directly observable in the context and is valid for all
finite verbs. Nevertheless, it does not apply to non-finite
verbs. The modern placement rule meets the requirement of
direct observability as well as the requirement of general
applicability, which unquestionably caused its final and
definite success. However, the UPP's change in nature, from
a syntactically independent pronoun that phonologically
depended on the preceding word to a pronoun that depended
syntactically and phonologically on the verb, must have been
an important condition for the introduction of the modern
placement rule.




                        ÍNDICE GENERAL

Agradecimientos

1. Introducción
 1.1 Tema y objetivos del presente estudio
 1.2 Las formas implicadas
 1.3 La estructura del trabajo
 Notas

2. Estudios anteriores
 2.1 Introducción
 2.2 Estudios descriptivos
 2.3 Propuestas funcionales
 2.4 Estudios generativos
 2.5 Conclusión
 Notas

3. La idiosincrasia de los PAs en el español antiguo
 3.1 Introducción
 3.2 Los PAs y los SNs: un análisis transformacional
 3.3 Las propiedades de los PAs y los SNs
 3.4 Análisis cuantitativo de la posición de los
     complementos en el español antiguo
   3.4.1 Los complementos preverbales y postverbales
   3.4.2 Los complementos y el tipo de oración
 3.5 La naturaleza fonológica de los PAs
 3.6 Volviendo a la independencia sintáctica
 3.7 Conclusión
 Notas

4. Colocación de los PAs con respecto al verbo finito hasta
   el siglo XV
 4.1 Introducción
 4.2 Anteposición y posposición en las oraciones principales
     y subordinadas
 4.3 El orden de palabras y la importancia del referente
   4.3.1 La jerarquía de persona
   4.3.2 La jerarquía de animación
   4.3.3 La jerarquía de género
   4.3.4 La jerarquía de agentividad
 4.4 El orden de palabras y la predecibilidad del referente
   4.4.1 La distancia referencial
   4.4.2 La presencia de otros posibles referentes
 4.5 La urgencia de la tarea comunicativa
 4.6 Los casos de anteposición y posposición absolutas
   4.6.1 Una explicación fonológica
   4.6.2 La posición P1 y anteposición absoluta
   4.6.3 Las oraciones negativas
   4.6.4 Coordinación y posposición absoluta
   4.6.5 El papel del vocativo precedente
   4.6.6 Las categorías 3 y 8
 4.7 La P1 y las categorías de variación
 4.8 Conclusión
 Notas

5. El período de transición: el sistema de colocación a
   partir del siglo XV
 5.1 Introducción
 5.2 Volviendo al principio pragmático
   5.2.1 La importancia del referente
   5.2.2 La distancia referencial
   5.2.3 La presencia de otros posibles referentes
 5.3 Consecuencias fonológicas
 5.4 El incremento del principio pragmático
 5.5 Reinterpretación del motivo de anteposición
 5.6 Hacia una nueva regla de colocación
 5.7 Disminuición de la importancia de la P1
 5.8 La última etapa: hacia el sistema de colocación moderno
 5.9 El sistema moderno: el caso del imperativo
 5.10 Conclusión
 Notas

6. Los PAs y las formas no finitas
 6.1 Introducción
 6.2 Las formas no finitas: el infinitivo y el gerundio
 6.3 Las preposiciones
 6.4 La construcción prep + Vinf y la P1
 6.5 Anteposición a partir del siglo XIV
 6.6 Conclusión
 Notas

7. Conclusiones
 7.1 Resumen de los resultados más importantes
   7.1.1 Los siglos XIII y XIV
    7.1.1.1 La naturaleza del PA
    7.1.1.2 La colocación del PA
   7.1.2 El siglo XV
    7.1.2.1 El cambio de naturaleza del PA
    7.1.2.2 La pérdida del principio pragmático
   7.1.3 La colocación del PA a partir del siglo XVI
 7.2 El proceso de gramaticalización
 7.3 Las causas del cambio lingüístico

Apéndice: descripción del corpus
 A.1 Introducción
 A.2 La selección de los textos
 A.3 Los manuscritos
 A.4 La homogeneidad de los textos
  A.5 Los ejemplos
   A.5.1 Las formas finitas
   A.5.2 Las formas no finitas
    A.5.2.1 El infinitivo
    A.5.2.2 El gerundio
    A.5.2.3 El participio pasado
 Notas

Bibliografía
Índice de materias
Índice onomástico
Índice de textos



8. Dirección de correo-e de la autora:

   [log in to unmask]


9. Posibilidad de obtener un ejemplar de la tesis:

    Los ejemplares publicados (US$ 20) se pueden pedir por
    correo electrónico a:

    [log in to unmask]

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