Linguistics in Amsterdam 4-2 (september 2011)Magaly Grández Ávila: Language transparency in Functional Discourse Grammar: The case of Quechua1
3 Accounting for degrees of transparency between levels
3.3 At the Morphosyntactic-Phonological levels

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3.3.2 Phonological weight does not influence morphosyntactic placement

In an ideal transparent language, neither morphosyntactic nor phonological factors are expected to determine the ordering of clause constituents. On the contrary, alignment is expected to reflect the organization of the higher levels: the Interpersonal and the Representational Level, which would go in accordance with the ideally one-to-one correspondence between processes of formulation and encoding operations.

In Quechua, the ordering of constituents may obey pragmatic factors, though in neutral contexts, alignment is generally the result of semantic and syntactic function assignment. As mentioned before, Quechua has a syntactic function Subject, which tends to occupy a clause-initial position. The placement of U and R arguments appear not to be attributable to syntactic factors, but semantic ones, as this is generally the Undergoer the argument that precedes the predicate, whereas the Recipient tends to precede the Undergoer. Thus, whether determined by syntactic or semantic factors, the placement of constituents in Quechua normally corresponds to that of a predicate-final language. However, when constituents are phonologically heavy, they can be placed after the predicate, as is commonly the case of sensory verb complements such as the one in (49) which can be shifted to the right as illustrated in (50):

(Weber, 1989: 290)

In the same way, nominal modifiers, which are normally placed before the nominal head, may be placed Clause-finally due to their being phonologically heavy. This is what generally occurs with relative clauses in complex constructions such as that in (51) which appears in (52) in clause-final position:

(Weber, 1989: 282)

Quechua cannot be regarded as transparent with respect to the morphosyntactic organization of Clause constituents, as this may not only be determined by pragmatic or semantic factors, but also by morphosyntactic or phonological ones.