Article published in:Variation within and across Romance Languages: Selected papers from the 41st Linguistic Symposium on Romance Languages (LSRL), Ottawa, 5–7 May 2011
Edited by Marie-Hélène Côté and Eric Mathieu
[Current Issues in Linguistic Theory 333] 2014
► pp. 119–132
Weight effects across verbal domains
The case of Spanish subjects
Abundant research reports that weight affects the position of postverbal constituents (Hawkins 2004; Wasow 1997, 2002; Wasow & Arnold 2003). Weight has been analyzed both as a constraint on production and processing. Our study analyzes whether increasing weight can shift subject position, which is typically preverbal, to the postverbal domain. We focus on Spanish subjects with unaccusative and emission verbs, because they display similar percentages of preverbal and postverbal occurrences. Our sample corpus was extracted from the Corpus de Referencia del Español Actual (CREA). Data was coded as nominal and scalar data in order to compare the validity of the different methodologies adopted by Hawkins (1994) and Gries (2003) respectively. In addition, we investigate which is the most descriptive weight unit: word (Lohse, Hawkins & Wasow 2004), syllable (Gries 2003), or phoneme. Our results indicate that weight is a statistically significant factor in subject placement.
Published online: 17 December 2014
1981 Intransitive Verbs and Italian Auxiliaries. Ph.D. dissertation, MIT.
Gries, Stefan T.
Hawkins, John A.
Lohse, Barbara, John A. Hawkins & Thomas A. Wasow
Mayoral Hernández, Roberto
2007 “A Variation Study of Verb Types and Subject Position: Verbs of light and sound emission”. Romance Linguistics 2006: Selected papers from the 36th Linguistic Symposium on Romance Languages (LSRL) ed. by José Camacho, Nydia Flores-Ferrán, Liliana Sánchez, Viviane Déprez & María José Cabrera, 213–226. Amsterdam & Philadelphia: John Benjamins.
Mayoral Hernández, Roberto & Asier Alcázar
Mcdonald, Janet L., J. Kathryn Bock & Michael Kelly
Prince, Ellen F.
Real Academia Española, Banco de datos (CREA) online
Corpus de Referencia del Español Actual. [http://www.rae.es].
Thompson, Sandra A.