ISSN: 1139-8736
Depósito Legal: B-18009-99




    También la consulta planteada el 19 de abril por Marisa Jeffers, sobre la colocación de los pronombres personales respecto al verbo perifrástico, se desarrolló a la vez que las dos anteriores:

Hola listeros, My class has a question for you all. They like hearing about what the list is discussing and would like your input.
We were discussing yesterday in class the placement of direct and indirect object pronouns and reflexive pronouns with the present and past progressive tenses. We were reviewing the fact that these pronouns may go before the conjugated verb or attached to the end of the present participle. They of course want to know which is "correcter" and I have explained that either way is fine.
I have one student who likes the challenge of putting the pronouns on the end of the present participle, finding the accent and the new pronunciation challenge. In my experience I have not observed a preference for either way in native speakers. It seems to be a personal choice rather than a regional habit. What think you? Is one manner of placement of these object pronouns more prevalent than the other?

Gracias por sus respuestas.

[9504: 286]

    En ocho días, esta pregunta generó cerca de veinte mensajes, todos ellos procedentes de los Estados Unidos, excepto uno, el de Graciela Nielsen. En un principio, las respuestas se limitaban a indicar que no existía ninguna diferencia entre la anteposición y la posposición de los pronombres:

Para mi no hay diferencia;las dos formas transmiten la misma idea.
Lo unico es que en la segunda forma tienes el reto del acento.

[9504: 288]

La diferencia no es ni siquiera personal. La misma persona puede usar una alternativa en una frase y otra en la siguiente. A menudo ni siquiera nos damos cuenta de cual de las alternativas estamos usando. Podria ser interesante hacer un estudio estadistico, pero si el resultado mostrara alguna diferencia de frecuencia, me sorprenderia mucho.

[9504: 290]

You're right. It really does NOT make a difference. And, no, there is no regional preference of which I am aware. I've lived in several Spanish speaking countries and known people from just about all of them. e\ie. Te lo voy a dar man\ana, vs. Voy a dartelo man\ana... Of course, who knows what someone else on this list will come up with!

[9504: 293]

Spanish is a little-PRO language with a clitic system. In general, such languages show a preference for preposing the cliticized obj. PRO. Specific rules exist for postposing them. I'll try to citethem in a GB framework another day when I'm a little less tired.
Espero serviros,


[9504: 310]

    Solo una persona se inclinó por la anteposición de los pronombres al verbo perifrásitico:

I would say that the trend now is to front the pronoun (put it before the verb) but that's just how I feel. I may just be talking out my behind.

[9504: 300]

    El primer listero que trató de buscar una explicación sintáctica que recomendara la posposición de los pronombres fue Kenneth A. Stackhouse:

Is it possible that since logically the pronouns are the direct and indirect object of the infinitive itself and not of the auxiliary modifying the infinitive that in careful, technical writing it would be better to attach the pronouns to the infinitive rather than before the auxiliary where they can go, not logically but colloquially by analogy with non-modified conjugated verbs?

Just a thought, not a grammatical dictamen.

[9504: 296]

    Pero otros listeros pusieron en duda la explicación de Kenneth y afirmaron que en el español hablado la anteposición del pronombre era mucho más frecuente:

I doubt it . . . . I work w/native speakers from all over the place, and I personally think that the fronted pronoun is more frequent in speech than the one attached to the verb. It would seem that the language has been historically moving toward fronting . . . at least one native speaker from Guadalajara agrees with me. I don't feel I can count on the rest of the native speakers I know for unbiased answers because most of them have either been teaching in the US all their lives (lack of input) and/or have some kind of propriety hypothesis going on; in any case, it's hard for people to listen to themselves linguistically.

[9504: 302]

I have heard or read that in the spoken language it is more common to place the pronoun before while in the written language it is more commontlo attach the pronoun. Meaning is not changed.

[9504: 307]

Escuchando mi esposo y sus primos, yo oigo mucho mas de los objetos antes del verbo que despues. No tienen mucha educacion, simplemente crecieron en Sonora, Mexico y cruzan la frontera mucho. Espero que les ayuda un poquito.

[9504: 330]

    Otro intento de explicación fue el de Jorge Prats:

I like the expression "listeros". Assuming you already know that the indirect object goes first and then the direct object follows, the rule used is this: In a conjugated verb you place the object pronouns in front or before the verb but when you have a compound verb(present or past as in this case, you have the option of placing it before or attached to the verb.If you are a native you will use it anyway it comes out first.The important thing is to remember the rule well.
Hasta la proxima.

[9504: 301]

    Deborah Jean Gill, quien había trabajado sobre este tema durante dos años y medio, envió el siguiente mensaje a ESPAN-L, con el cual respondía no solo a Marisa, sino a todos los listeros que hasta ese momento habían participado en la discusión:

Hi Marisa! I just wanted to comment briefly on your question and at the same time mention some of the responses that other people have given to you all here.
I have been working on this exact same topic for over two and a half years now because, it seemed to me, that there WAS a difference although it seems that there shouldn't be. And, in my studies there does appear to be a difference, but the difference is a pragmatic one.
An example that was given by one of the other "listeros" was

Te lo voy a dar man~ana vs.
Voy a da'rtelo man~ana

The difference here has to do with focus and specificity. In the first sentence, the focus has moved away from the speaker and is now on the interlocutor and object, whereas in the second one, the focus is still on the speaker and less emphasis on the receiver of the action and/or the "thing" the speaker is talking about.
This is not so easy to see outside of discourse contexts, but it is a lot clearer when there is discourse surrounding the example.
It is the same with reflexives. For example,

Me voy a casar vs.
Voy a casarme

In the first sentence, there is a degree of specificity -- you know with whom you are going to be married and/or you know the date that you will marry, that is, you know the specifics. On the other hand, the second is a stated fact, but you don't necessarily know with whom, when, etc.
Another "listero" said that it would be interesting to see statistically if there is a difference. I have been working on that.
Statistically, both are used and what I have just stated above with regard to the pragmatic effects appears to come up significant (with a p < .05); that is, the difference in use appears to be focus and specificity. Another relevant factor is person. Studies have shown that the use of first person tends to have more preverbal clitics than either second or third person, because the "Yo" wants to be "in focus" -- a bit egotistical, true?
Playing devil's advocate here, and showing the reason why one might prefer to attach the direct and indirect object clitic pronouns to the infinitive, we need to take the acquisition of these clitic pronouns into consideration.
In second language acquisition, at least in adult learners, it is easier to keep the clitic pronouns after the verb because of word order in English (Subject-Verb-Object). A recent study which I did with University students showed that when the object clitic is placed in preverbal position, then the students thought it was the subject, while when these same sentences were given with the clitic attached to the infinitive, they were clearly chosen as the object.
(Sorry, I know this is a bit off the topic of your question, but it is related to the placement of these clitics.) So, the level of proficiency of a student/person can also influence in the use of a pre- or postverbal clitic placement.
I have not done a statistical analysis of participles as of yet (for example, Estoy haciendolovs. Lo estoy haciendo) but a first glance at my data tends to support the focus/specificity idea which I mentioned above. I agree that native speakers may use both forms, even within the same narration. But, it is quite possible that there is a different pragmatic meaning behind each one.

Hope this helps!!!

[9504: 304]

    Mark Davies se dirigió a los listeros el 20 de abril para informar de la existencia de un corpus informatizado de expresiones, procedentes tanto del español hablado como escrito, a partir del cual se estudia la colocación de este tipo de pronombres. El artículo que cita, como se ve, ha sido escrito por él:

For those interested in actual _data-based_ studies of pronoun placement in both spoken and written Spanish (eg. *lo* quiero hacer / quiero hacer*lo*), may I suggest:
Davies, Mark. "Analyzing Syntactic Variation with Computer- Based Corpora: The Case of Modern Spanish Clitic Climbing." To be published in Hispania, May 1995.
The study is based on a computer corpus of more than 3,500,000 words of both spoken and written Spanish from ten Spanish-speaking countries, involving more than 15,000 tokens and more than 30 governing verbs (querer, desear, tener que, etc). The general conclusions are:
1) Clitic climbing (*lo* quiero hacer vs. quiero hacer*lo*) is more common in spoken than in written Spanish. Thus clitic climbing is an innovative, rather than conservative, feature of Modern Spanish.
2) There is no significant dialectal variation (country to country)
3) There is a continuum of acceptability with different verbs (eg. 76% clitic climbing with ir+a (average of both spoken and written registers), to 25% with dejar+de, to 7% with preferir, etc). The continuum is explained well by a semantics-based account; the verbs that are the most "auxiliary-like" in nature allow the greatest degree of clitic climbing.
4) There are secondary factors involved, including:

a) case and number of the clitic itself (me, te, lo, les, etc)
b) reflexive vs. non-reflexive clitics
c) number of clitics (one or two)
d) the element immediately preceding the governing verb

5) The Modern Spanish data raises additional questions about the historical evolution of the clitic climbing construction in Spanish, which is the focus of research that I am presently carrying out.

[9504: 328]

    Algunos listeros se mostraron muy interesados por conocer el trabajo de Mark47:

Hi Mark Davies. Will you please send me your e-mail address???

Thank you!

[9504: 347]

Mark..I look forward to reading your article. There was a similar study done in Hispania several years ago on leismo/loismo which revealed in the writing of individual authors from the nineteenth through the 20th centuries a tendency to evolve from leista to loista.
When a language maintains two or more means to express the same idea, it seems that there is some meaningful difference which is often overlooked determining which expression an individual will choose in a given situation. i.e. the variations may be random, but there must be some perceived difference determining which one a thoughtful writer will choose in a given context.
Again, I look forward to your forthcoming article!

Ken Stackhouse.

[9504: 348]

    Todos los ejemplos citados en esta conversación presentan un infinitivo o un gerundio subordinado a otro verbo:

- Te lo voy a dar ~ Voy a dártelo [9504: 293] y [9504: 304]
- Me voy a casar ~ Voy a casarme [9504: 304]
- Lo estoy haciendo ~ Estoy haciéndolo [9504: 304]
- Lo quiero hacer ~ Quiero hacerlo [9504: 328]

por lo que responden a la regla expuesta por S. GILI GAYA [(1961) 1983]:

Cuando el infinitivo y el gerundio están subordinados a otro verbo, los pronombres enclíticos pueden separarse de ellos y pasar, atraídos, al verbo principal, p. ej.: quieren molestarte o te quieren molestar; iban diciéndole o le iban diciendo.

[S. GILI GAYA, (1961) 1983, p. 236]

En el último mensaje reproducido se amplió la información con la referencia de un estudio similar sobre otro fenómeno: el loísmo. A este respecto, John Patrick Villanueva intervino para poner en duda la opinión expuesta por Ken, quien defendía la existencia de una tendencia hacia el loísmo:

Clarification: Are you sure that the tendency was TOWARD loismo? I got the feeling that it was the other way around . . .

[9504: 353]

    A lo que Ken respondió con el siguiente mensaje:

Yes, toward loismo; The examples from Camilo Jose' Cela were particularly interesting,if my memory serves me well. Le as a direct object pronoun referring to human beings was gradually replaced with lo in the inventory done in Cela's novels..the explaination being that Cela became more informal with less concern for "distincio'n" in his writing the more he wrote and this pattern was corroborted by examples from other authors of northern peninsular origen as well.

[9504: 391]

    Esta explicación entra en contradicción con la descripción del laísmo y del loísmo por parte de S. GILI GAYA [(1961) 1983], quien llama la atención sobre el hecho de que

El vulgo madrileño va todavía más allá; el lo sustituye con frecuencia a le como dativo: lo pegaron una bofetada . Sin embargo, este loísmo se siente en todas partes como extremadamente plebeyo, y no ha logrado salir del habla achulapada.

[S. GILI GAYA, (1961) 1983, pp. 232-235]

    Y, a este respecto48, C. HERNáNDEZ [(1984) 1986, p. 472] sostiene que «la incorrección y vulgarismo de un lo por un le en complemento indirecto (...), aunque poco frecuente, se encuentra ya a lo largo de la Edad Media».

    Puede verse cómo esta conversación generó respuestas pertinentes pero también mensajes que se alejaban un poco de la consulta inicial.


47. Que fue, efectivamente, publicado en Hispania, y cuya referencia completa se encuentra en la Bibliografía, es decir, en el capítulo 8.

48. Véase también F. MARSÁ [(1984) 1989, pp. 110-113].


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ISSN: 1139-8736
Depósito Legal: B-18009-99
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