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Title: Word order in Old Catalan
Author: Pujol i Campeny, Afra
ISNI:       0000 0004 7962 0180
Awarding Body: University of Cambridge
Current Institution: University of Cambridge
Date of Award: 2019
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This thesis describes the word order of El Llibre dels Fets del Rey en Jacme, a 13th century Catalan chronicle widely known as El Llibre dels Fets. By exploring the position of the verb, the subject and the information structure of the Old Catalan of this text, it is concluded that Old Catalan was an SVO language that shared several features with its modern counterpart, such as the invariable location of informational focus to the right of the verb. For this purpose, a database of 2,000 syntactically parsed main and embedded clauses was produced, the Llibre dels Fets del Rey en Jacme (LFRJ) database. Verb position is studied in terms of linear verb positions and their frequencies, in regard to predicate types, in relation to adverb position, clitic placement, and in relation to polarity in both main and embedded clauses, showing that in both main and embedded clauses, the verb is located in the inflectional layer unless a specific trigger is identified as a trigger of V-to-C movement, as is the case with the expression of emphatic polarity. Furthermore, Old Catalan is shown to have an active projection in the inflectional domain where subjects and other discourse-anchoring elements, such as locatives, can occur, like its modern counterpart. Therefore, unlike it has been claimed for other Old Romance languages, Old Catalan had a specialised verbal prefield. Subjects can also be left and right-dislocated, as well as focalised. In terms of Information Structure, it is shown that Old Catalan's Informational Focus is located postverbally, and not preverbally as in other Old Romance languages. Finally, a comparison between Modern Catalan and Old Catalan data shows that Modern Catalan oral texts share word order features with the data from El Llibre dels Fets, highlighting the importance of orality as a factor determining word order.
Supervisor: Sitaridou, Ioanna Sponsor: AHRC
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
Keywords: Word order ; Romance Linguistics ; Catalan ; Old Catalan ; syntax