Catalan is usually described as a language without prepositional accusative, with the only exception of some pronouns. The aim of this paper is to present some data showing that in most spoken varieties prepositional accusatives are indeed licensed in a specific construction, namely when appearing as topics in Clitic-Dislocation. Interestingly enough, the preposition is systematically excluded with rhematic, nontopical, objects. Dialects differ with respect to the conditions governing the use of the preposition with topics: whereas in written Catalan the preposition appears with pronouns only, spoken Central Catalan extends its use to proper names and human definites as well, and Ibizan shows the wider extension of the phenomenon, with prepositional marking for almost all kinds of topics (pronouns, proper names, human and non-human definites, and even inanimate indefinites). This shows that for Catalan the crucial factor for the occurrence of prepositional accusatives is topicality –not definiteness or animacy, as in Spanish.

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Published on 31/03/07
Accepted on 31/03/07
Submitted on 31/03/07

Volume 22, Issue 1, 2007
DOI: 10.7203/caplletra.42.4823
Licence: CC BY-NC-SA license

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