Latin/Romance prepositions: microparametric convergence and divergence
Keith Tse
December 2018
 

Romance prepositions AD and DE are widely used in Differential Object Marking and Prepositional Infinitives and they co-vary among Western Romance varieties in ways that, formally construed, differ minimally in terms of individual features, despite the fact that they instantiate the same functional categories throughout Romance (K(ase) and M(ood) respectively). Furthermore, their idiosyncratic distributions seem to stem from their Latin origins and proto-Romance formation, since Latin AD and DE are inherent Case-assigners which select certain types of arguments (‘direction/destination’ and ‘content/theme’ respectively), and their selectional properties seem to have persisted into Romance where AD and DE are also restricted to certain types of arguments even as they are grammaticalized as functional markers of nominal and infinitival arguments. Within the Minimalist framework (Chomsky (1995)), the evolution of Latin/Romance AD and DE raises the possibility that parameter setting in language acquisition and change is conditioned by interface factors other than formal ‘simplicity’ (cf Longobardi (2001)), and this creates a much more dynamic model of formal syntactic change where microparameters can converge and diverge in interesting ways.
Format: [ pdf ]
Reference: lingbuzz/004355
(please use that when you cite this article)
Published in: Linguistic Symposium on Romance Languages 48
keywords: latin, romance, parameters, minimalism, syntactic change, prepositions, grammaticalization, historical linguistics, comparative syntax, keith tse, semantics, syntax
previous versions: v1 [September 2018]
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