Chapter published in:Contemporary Trends in Hispanic and Lusophone Linguistics: Selected papers from the Hispanic Linguistic Symposium 2015
Edited by Jonathan E. MacDonald
[Issues in Hispanic and Lusophone Linguistics 15] 2018
► pp. 121–142
Are Argentines a-blind?
Acceptability of a-marked inanimate direct objects
I examine syntactic and discursive factors conditioning the variable a-marking of inanimate DOs in Argentine Spanish, using an online questionnaire which includes 16 contextualized discourse items recorded by native Argentines. Argentine respondents (N = 140) evaluated acceptability of the items using a 5-point Likert scale. Linguistic predictors analyzed include: definiteness, mono- vs. ditransitive constructions, and topicality, operationalized in terms of pre-/post-verbal position and referential distance. Mixed-effects analyses in R showed that although participants assigned significantly higher ratings to normative unmarked inanimate DOs than to a-marked ones, a-marking was still widely accepted, with definite DOs, pre-verbal position, and monotransitivity as significant predictors of acceptance. Furthermore, in 10/16 cases, participant ratings showed no significant difference between marked and unmarked DOs, demonstrating that participants are, to an extent, “a-blind” or uninfluenced by marking.
Keywords: DOM, accusative , inanimate, Argentine Spanish
Published online: 14 February 2018
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Cited by other publications
Bautista-Maldonado, Salvador & Silvina Montrul
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