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Differential Object Marking in Catalan and language contact



Dr. Anna Pineda, Sorbonne Université (Paris IV)
Prof. Dr. Marco García García, University of Cologne
Prof Dr. Klaus von Heusinger, University of Cologne

The project "Differential Object Marking in Catalan and language contact" is funded by the Alexander von Humboldt Foundation


This project investigates Differential Object Marking in Catalan. Unlike other Romance languages, DOM is often considered to be absent in Catalan, except for personal pronouns and a few other cases, at least from the perspective of the prescriptive grammar. However, the truth is that in most varieties of Catalan, DOM appears with human direct objects generally, including proper names, definites and some indefinites, and even occasionally it extends to inanimates. While one might initially assume that this is the direct result of the influence of the neighboring Spanish, such instances might in fact have arisen from the internal evolution of Catalan –crucially, DOM is found in Old Catalan, before the sociolinguistic pressure from Spanish had begun in the 16th century due to political circumstances. After having explored the diachronic dimension of the issue, the main goal of the project is two analyze the current scope and development of the use of DOM in Catalan, also taking into account the dimension of language contact between Catalan and Spanish.

Project members

Prof. Dr. Marco García García

Romanisches Seminar
Albertus-Magnus-Platz | 50923 Köln

Büro: Philosophikum, 2. Stock, Raum 2.310

Tel.: +49(0)221-470-4821
E-Mail: marco.garcia(at)

Prof. Dr. Klaus von Heusinger

Institut für deutsche Sprache und Literatur I – Sprachwissenschaft
Albertus-Magnus-Platz | 50923 Köln

Büro: Philosophikum, 2. Stock, Raum 2.116

Tel.: +49(0)221-470-4884
E-Mail: klaus.vonheusinger(at)

Conferences and Workshops

Conference: DOM in Catalan (and Romance) and language contact. 04.-05.11.2021. Online.