LINGUIST List 13.997

Thu Apr 11 2002

Qs: Spanish Particle Verbs, Adverb Combinations

Editor for this issue: Karen Milligan <>

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  1. Kurtgjevnoe, Spanish particle verbs
  2. wnsalmon, Adverb combinations

Message 1: Spanish particle verbs

Date: Wed, 10 Apr 2002 22:13:15 EDT
From: Kurtgjevnoe <>
Subject: Spanish particle verbs

Dear linguists,

 Someone has said that Spanish grammarians have done their utmost
to confuse their language. May or may not be true. Several inquiries
that I've seen in linguistlist seem to support the issue. A writing
man, I often run into doubts that grammar books have no answer to.

 The problem this time is the usage of the preposition 'a' when it
follows a verb as a part of the same verbal expression ( i.e., as a
particle verb where the particle (the preposition) is an integral part
of the nucleus of the predicate.) Examples are 'voy a' (immediate
future), 'aprendo a' and 'empiezo a'. In speech, the preposition will
disappear through fusion with an infinitive if this begins with the
vowel 'a' (or 'ha'), which feels rather natural.. Examples are "ya
voy hacerlo", "aprendi� hablar" and "empez� aclarar". In writing,
however, this usage is irritating. I should prefer "ya voy a hacerlo"
, "aprendi� a hablar" y "empez� a aclarar". I have observed the
fusion in narration by varios writers and I haven't liked it. What I
do not find in any grammar book (asking native speakers is a hopeless
venture, of course) is a norm that would permit or describe which
usage is the most correct in writing.
Would anyone be able and willing to enlighten me about an authoritative
In case I were to receive answers I should be pleased to post a summary.

Kurt Gjevnoe
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Message 2: Adverb combinations

Date: Tue, 9 Apr 2002 15:53:00 -0500
From: wnsalmon <>
Subject: Adverb combinations

Does anyone know where I can find a study that might discuss
syntax/semantics issues of adverb combinations like 'more-better'? As
in, 'Pizza Hut is more-better than Dominoes?'

Bill Salmon
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