Chapter published in:Boundaries, Phases and Interfaces: Case studies in honor of Violeta Demonte
Edited by Olga Fernández-Soriano, Elena Castroviejo Miró and Isabel Pérez-Jiménez
[Linguistik Aktuell/Linguistics Today 239] 2017
► pp. 306–324
Two types of transitive verbs in Spanish
Ditransitives in disguise
This paper focuses on the different properties shown by two types of verbs that surface as transitive verbs in Spanish. The article tries to demonstrate that, beside regular transitive verbs taking a DP complement (e.g. Juan leyó un libro ‘Juan read a book’), other apparent transitive verbs – pseudotransitive verbs – (e.g. Juan golpeó al prisionero ‘Juan hit the prisoner’) hide a deep ditransitive structure in which a nominal argument is conflated into an abstract predicate. Subextraction, nominalization and quantifier scope data are used to support this claim. The analysis derives the different properties exhibited by these two types of verbs from their base argument structure and shows that they are independent from other syntactic mechanisms such as differential object marking.
Keywords: transitive verb, conflation, small clause, differential object marking, abstract predicate
Published online: 14 June 2017
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