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Disentangling Linearity: Croatian Personal Pronouns

Peti-Stantić, Anita; Tonković, Mirjana
Disentangling Linearity: Croatian Personal Pronouns // The Resolving Conflict Across Borders Conference (RCAB)
Dubrovnik, Hrvatska, 2017. (predavanje, međunarodna recenzija, pp prezentacija, znanstveni)

Disentangling Linearity: Croatian Personal Pronouns

Peti-Stantić, Anita ; Tonković, Mirjana

Vrsta, podvrsta i kategorija rada
Sažeci sa skupova, pp prezentacija, znanstveni

The Resolving Conflict Across Borders Conference (RCAB)

Mjesto i datum
Dubrovnik, Hrvatska, 19-21.10. 2017

Vrsta sudjelovanja

Vrsta recenzije
Međunarodna recenzija

Ključne riječi
Croatian personal pronouns, full forms, clitics, information structure

Starting from a difference between Chomskyan lexicon and a notion of mental lexicon, seen as representationally rich network in which lexically specified information plays a critical and early role in the interpretation of grammatical structure, we analyze the role/function of Croatian personal pronouns in the sentence information structure (Lambrecht 1994, Peti-Stantić 2014, 2015). Because of their phonological, morphosyntactic and semantic idiosyncracies, it seems obvious to couch the analysis in the framework of the Parallel Architecture (Jackendoff 1997, 2010). This framework enables the separation of phonological, syntactic and semantic properties of personal pronouns, while maintaining their coherence and interrelation. By treating clitics, as well as so called full forms, as per se interface pieces of structure that reside on a gradient continuum between grammatical and lexical representational tier, we are opening the cognitive space for complex one-to-many relations (Culicover 2013). Although, when speaking of clitics and full forms there is more constraints of sentence information structure than the simple contrastive contexts, it is also clear that there are two general options: 1) the information contexts in which pronominal long form is the only grammatical option (contrastive or some other type of focus, for example coordinated structures), ie. (Mene ja pozvao, a ja njega nisam. vs. *Me je pozvao, a ja njega nisam. ‘He invited me, and I did not (invite) him.’ or Sjeća se mene i mojih prijatelja. vs. *Sjeća se me i mojih prijatelja. ‘He remembers me and my friends.’) and 2) the information contexts in which both long and clitic form are grammatical, ie. (Reći će mi sve./ Meni će reći sve. ie. (‘He/She will tell me everything.’ Dobro ga se sjećam. /Njega se dobro sjećam. ‘I remember him well.’). In order to test the hypothesis that clitic (me, mi, te, ti etc.) and so called full forms (mene, meni, tebe, tebi etc.) of personal pronouns in Croatian do not differ only in phonology, but also in semantics, we conducted two controlled psycholinguistic experiments with pronominal form and compatibility of a context as two independent variables. In doing so we tested two types of forms, clitic and full forms, as well as two types of contexts, compatible and incompatible. The basic sentences are the following ones: Brat me/mene redovito posjećuje, a sestra skoro nikada. ‘My brother regularly visits me, and my sister does not visit me almost never.’ and Brat me/mene redovito posjećuje, a sestru skoro nikada. ‘My brother regularly visits me, and he almost never visits my sister.’ In line with our hypothesis, the relationship between clitics and full forms is one-to-one only in syntax, while the relation between these two strings in the system is one-to-many at all other representational levels, with different grades of acceptability/grammaticality for clitic and full forms in different informational contexts. We administered pen and paper psycholinguistic test followed by computer based E-Prime reaction-time sensitive experiment. First we conducted the simple grammaticality judgment test of sentences containing paired clitic and full case forms. The test is motivated by the broader understanding of an agreement as the choice between possible, yet potential grammatical properties (Corbett 2003). From that point of view, and taking into account the gradient nature of grammaticality, everything else being the same, we consider measuring grammaticality of sentences containing clitic and full forms as measuring particular level of their abstraction/grammaticalization and/or interface complexity. Such a view is in particular appropriate for personal pronouns, because to place them into a sentence, one requires the ability to take the abstraction to a very high level. Then we tested the same types of sentences in an E-Prime setting by asking participants to judge the meaningfulness of sentences. By doing so, alongside with the meaningfulness, we are measuring the reaction time needed to assess the information structure of sentences with clitic and full forms in 6 possible combinations. No context Compatible context Incompatible context Brat me redovito posjećuje. Brat me redovito posjećuje, a sestra skoro nikada. Brat me redovito posjećuje, a ne sestru. Brat mene redovito posjećuje. Brat mene redovito posjećuje, a ne sestru. Brat mene redovito posjećuje, a sestra skoro nikada. By doing so, we establish the setting for differential mapping between so called full forms, usually seen as regular lexical items, and clitics, highly grammaticalized forms, within the sentence information structure. In our presentation we will compare full data of two studies administered. Already preliminary results reveal two important outcomes, which prove to be theoretically valid: 1) clitics and full forms enter the conflict resolution model of sentence information structure as distinctive interface pieces of structure, and 2) relation between clitics and full forms, seen as integral interface pieces of structure, is not discrete, but rather gradient. BIBLIOGRAPHY: 1. Baauw, Sergio (1998). The Role of the Clitic-Full Pronoun Distinction in the Acquisition of Pronominal Coreference. In Proceedings of the 23rd annual Boston University Conference on Language Development, ed. by Annabel Greenhill, Heather Littlefield, and Cheryl Tano, 32–43. Somerville, MA: Cascadilla Press. 2. Corbett, G. (2003) “Agreeement: Terms and Boundaries.” The Role of Agreement in Natural Language: TLS 5 Proceedings, W. E. Griffin (ed.), 109-122. Texas Linguistics Forum, 53 3. Culicover, P. W. (2013). Grammar and complexity: Language at the intersection of competence and performance. Oxford, UK: Oxford University Press. 4. Culicover, P. W., & Jackendoff, R. (2005). Simpler syntax. Oxford, UK: Oxford University Press. 5. Jackendoff, Ray (1997). The architecture of the language faculty. Cambridge, MA: MIT Press. 6. Jackendoff, Ray (2010). Meaning and the Lexicon: The Parallel Architecture 1975-2010, Oxford University Press. 7. Jackendoff, R., & Audring, J. (In preparation). The texture of the mental lexicon. Lambrecht, K. (1994) Information structure and sentence form: Topic, focus, and the mental representation of discourse referents. Cambridge University Press. 8. Peti-Stantić, A. (2014) “Informativity of the sentence information structure: word order.” Language as Information. (eds.) Anita Peti-Stantić, Mateusz Milan Stanojević. Peter Lang Verlag. 155-178. 9. Peti-Stantić, A. (2015) “How much Grammar is needed in Lexicon?” in: Slovnica in slovar: aktualni jezikovni opis/Grammar and Dictionary: Current language description, (ed.) Smolej, Mojca, Ljubljana : Center za slovenščino kot drugi/tuji jezik, Filozofska fakulteta v Ljubljani: 569-577.

Izvorni jezik

Znanstvena područja
Psihologija, Filologija


Projekt / tema
HRZZ-IP-2016-06-1210 - Modeliranje mentalne gramatike hrvatskoga: ograničenja informacijske strukture (Anita Peti-Stantić, )

Filozofski fakultet, Zagreb