PROCESSING CLITIC PRONOUNS IN BULGARIAN - EVIDENCE FROM NORMAL AND AGRAMMATIC COMPREHENSION
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Clitic clusters display a complicated interaction of prosodic and syntactic properties which determines their word order and stress patterns. In Bulgarian, short pronouns appear as unstressed verbal enclitics in positive utterances. Proclitic negation attracts the pronouns and forms with them a prosodic unit stressed on the second syllable, the pronoun. Theoretical linguistics characterizes the behaviour of object clitics in terms of 'non-trivial chains' (Boskovic 2001) containing copies. The overt realisation of a higher or lower copy depends on phonological constraints like enclitisation requirements. In line with the slow-syntax-hypothesis (Burkhardt et al. 2008) and with the assumption that prosody-related processes may also compete for the same limited processing resources of Broca's aphasics (Avrutin et al. 1999), the authoress tests sensitivity to the phonosyntactic constraints negation imposes on the word order of personal and reflexive clitics. Results suggest that the pattern of agrammatic processing of clitic clusters resembles normal comprehension but proceeds in a protracted manner. Employing a self-paced reading task and an experimental design which reduces discourse-related interpretation processes, she also shows that the syntactic functions of personal object clitics as syntactic object agreement markers in Bulgarian are relatively preserved in the aphasic group.
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