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Title: Reduced Constructions in Spanish
Written By: John C. Moore
Description:

Spanish, as well as other Romance languages, has a class of syntactic constructions that simultaneously exhibit mono- and bi-clausal behaviors. This work proposes an analysis within the Government and Binding framework that seeks to capture this ambivalent nature by analyzing these as Reduced Constructions; that is, bi-clausal constructions whose embedded clause is a Verb Phrase (VP), as opposed to a full embedded sentence. The class of reduced constructions includes causative constructions (Curro se los hizo leer a los ninos. 'Curro made the children read it.') and restructuring constructions (Te lo quiero mandar. 'I want to send it to you.'). On the one hand, reduced constructions seem to involve a full sentential complement. For example, their semantic structure appears to involve a sentence embedded in another (i.e., uiero [mand=E1rtelo]. 'I want [to send it to you].'). In addition, certain phenomena, such as passive, which usually only operates within a single clause is sometimes disallowed in reduced constructions, further attesting to their putative bi-clausality (?* El libro fue hecho leer a los ninos. 'The book was made to be read by the children.') On the other hand, certain clause-bounded phenomena appears to argue for the mono-clausality of these constructions. For example, pronominal clitics (me, te, lo, . . .) usually must attach to the verb to which they are logical arguments. However, as in the examples in the last paragraph, clitics in reduced constructions may attach to a higher verb. Similarly, despite the ungrammatical passive above, some reduced construction allow such 'long' passives (Este libro fue empezado a escribir. 'This book was begun to be written.'). Hence, reduced constructions exhibit both bi- and mono-clausal characteristics. This work presents a solution to this paradox within a Government and Binding Framework. Following a proposal by Karen Zagona, it proposes that reduced constructions involve VP-complements, where the embedded subject is generated inside the VP. Building on proposals by Luigi Rizzi, this VP-internal subject provides an account of the bi-clausal characteristics, while leaving open the possibility of certain mono-clausal effects. In contrast to many works in this area, this study concentrates on Spanish (as opposed to Romance) data, and therefore makes a contribution in developing an account based on an in-depth examination of data from a single language.

Publication Year: 1997
Publisher: Garland Publishers
Review: Not available for review. If you would like to review a book on The LINGUIST List, please login to view the AFR list.
BibTex: View BibTex record
Linguistic Field(s): Syntax
Subject Language(s): Spanish
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Versions:
Format: Hardback
ISBN: 0815325797
ISBN-13: N/A
Pages: 288
Prices: $72