Traditional studies of Catalan dialectology have always included the variety spoken in the North-eastern area in the group of dialects that have CV pronominal clitics instead of the innovative VC standard forms (e.g., me instead of em ‘me’). rt is also welI accepted that nowadays there is variation between CV and VC clitics, the latter being considered the result of the increasing influence of the standard. Our goa I is to check the scope of this variation and determine if there are internal factors that favour the shift to VC forms.
Unlike previous studies, our description wilI not be based on data from questionnaires but on data from spontaneous texts recorded in two corpora: the Atles lingüístic del domini català, compiled in the 60s, and the Corpus Oral Dialectal, compiled in the 90s. The data unexpectedly show that, although there is a tendency towards the loss of CV clitics along the time, all the speakers, including the oldest ones, use more VC than CV forms, which cannot be entirely attributed to the influence of the standard. We conclude that VC clitics have a deep-rooted presence and are favoured by certain syntactic contexts that are welI determined by language universals.