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Authors: Chiriacescu, Sofiana
Heusinger, Klaus von
Title: Pe-marking and referential persistence in Romanian
Issue Date: 2009 Konferenzbeitrag Riester, Arndt ; Onea, Edgar (eds.): Focus at the syntax-semantics interface. Stuttgart : University, 2009 (SinSpeC 3), S. 1-17
Abstract: The fact that in Romanian a direct object is sometimes morphologically marked by the particle pe and sometimes not is a long attested phenomenon. Diverse studies on Differential Object Marking (DOM) explained most occurrences of pe as a case marker by means of the features animacy, definiteness, and specificity. The only cases left unexplained are those in which a direct object realized as an unmodified definite or indefinite nominal phrase are optionally marked, whereby the difference in meaning between the two alternative constructions is subtle though significant. Post-verbal indefinite human direct objects are optionally pe-marked. Based on a synchronic study, we will show that besides specificity, discourse prominence also influences the case-marking of indefinite direct objects. Case marked indefinite direct objects show the property of “referential persistence”, i.e. a direct object introduced by an indefinite pe-marked nominal phrase will be more often taken up in the subsequent discourse than its unmarked counterpart. In conclusion, we will add another feature to the local parameters triggering DOM another feature, namely discourse prominence.
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