Numeral reduplication and clausal syntax: grammaticalized distributivity in Medieval Iberia

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This study examines a little-known case of grammaticalized distributivity in the Romance branch, as found in tenth to fifteenth century texts produced in the Iberian Peninsula. Analysis of a newly compiled, hand-annotated corpus demonstrates that, in Old Ibero-Romance, the reduplication of an adnominal cardinal numeral on the internal argument of the verb mandates a distributive reading at the sentential level. The distributive construction is characterized as 'double-object'-like structure occurring only in expressions of dynamic and static possession. Whilst a cross-categorial operation originating in the DP edge triggers pluralization of the event itself, an applicative treatment of the clausal syntax not only captures the 'double-object'-like structure of the construction, but the nature of the distributive relation itself.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)317-365
Number of pages49
Issue number2
Early online date5 Aug 2022
Publication statusPublished - Sept 2022

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
I thank audiences at Going Romance xxxi , Bucharest; (Co-)Distributivity 2018, Paris; LSRL48, Toronto; ARC and RLS47, both at Cambridge; and audiences at Manchester, Birmingham, and UCLA, where preliminary versions of this work were presented. I am especially grateful to Norma Schifano, and the two anonymous colleagues who reviewed my submission for Probus, for their constructive feedback on this manuscript, as well as to Matt Coler for making the submission process so straightforward. Funding support at various stages of this project was generously provided by a Draper’s Company Research Fellowship (Pembroke College, Cambridge) and a Birmingham International Engagement Grant (University of Birmingham). All errors remain my own.

Publisher Copyright:
© 2022 the author(s), published by De Gruyter, Berlin/Boston.


  • Old Ibero-Romance
  • numeral reduplication
  • distributivity
  • argument structure
  • applicatives

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Language and Linguistics
  • Linguistics and Language


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  • Interpreting reduplicated numerals in Old Ibero-Romance: a syntactic account

    Corr, A., 10 Mar 2022, Points of Convergence in Romance Linguistics: Papers selected from the 48th Linguistic Symposium on Romance Languages (LSRL 48), Toronto, 25-28 April 2018. Alboiu, G. & King, R. (eds.). John Benjamins Publishing, p. 177-192 16 p. (Current Issues in Linguistic Theory; vol. 360).

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