Differential object marking

Differential Object Marking

Differential object marking

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Differential object marking (DOM) is a linguistic phenomenon that is present in more than 300 languages; the term was coined by Georg Bossong.Bossong, Georg. 1985. Empirische Universalienforschung. Differentielle Objektmarkierung in der neuiranischen Sprachen. Tübingen: NarrBossong, Georg. 1991. Differential object marking in Romance and beyond. In New Analyses in Romance Linguistics, Selected Papers from the XVIII Linguistic Symposium on Romance Languages 1988, eds. D. Wanner and D. Kibbee, 143–170. Amsterdam: Benjamins In languages where DOM is active, direct objects are divided in two different classes, depending on different meanings, and, in most DOM languages, only one of the classes receives a marker, the other being unmarked (but there are languages, like Finnish, where both types of objects are marked with different endings).


A well-known DOM language is Spanish. In Spanish, direct objects that are both human and specific require a special marker (the preposition a "to"):Fernández Ramírez, Salvador. 1986. Gramática española 4. El verbo y la oración. Madrid: Arco/Libros.Pensado, Carmen ed. 1995. El complemento directo preposicional. Madrid: Visor.Torrego, Esther. 1998. The......
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