Differential Object Marking in Catalan and language contact
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.