Computational modeling of a generative grammar for clitic order in River Plate Spanish

Walter Koza, María Mare

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


The order of clitics (CLs) in Romance languages has been studied in depth by many scholars since Perlmutter’s first approach. This author points out that person and case features impose a filter that results in the following pattern in Spanish: Se- II- I- IIIdat- IIIacc. This pattern has been revisited because it is not restrictive enough: it gives rise to impossible sequences. In this context, the goal of this work is to define a pattern of morphosyntactic features for River Plate Spanish clitics, and an ordering pattern, with the purpose of developing a computational model for an automatic analysis of this phenomenon. This kind of analysis is justified because the algorithm output shows the degree of success of the descriptive proposal. To this end, we use NooJ, a linguistic development environment that has diverse tools. The computational modeling involves two stages: (i) the creation of an electronic dictionary and (ii) the creation of a computational grammar. The algorithm developed can generate all correct sentences conformed by Nominative Pronoun + CL + CL + Verb, Non-Finite Verb-CL-CL and Imperative Verb-CL-CL, and it can recognize these kinds of expressions in written text assigning the correct semantic labels. With these results, we conclude that our descriptive proposal is adequate for the analysis of sequences of clitics in River Plate Spanish.

Translated title of the contributionModelización computacional de una gramática generativa para el orden de los clíticos del español rioplatense
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)270-306
Number of pages37
JournalRevista Espanola de Linguistica Aplicada
Issue number1
StatePublished - 7 May 2023


  • River Plate Spanish
  • argument structure
  • clitic order
  • computational linguistics
  • semantic labels


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