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Title: Small Clauses in Spanish
Subtitle: The Semantics of Transitivity
Written By: Jiyoung Yoon
Series Title: LINCOM Studies in Romance Linguistics 48

Small Clauses in Spanish:The Semantics of Transitivity

The present semantic-functional study analyzes small clauses in Spanish in
terms of the semantics of main verbs, small clause predicates, direct
objects, and subjects, taking Hopper & Thompson's (1980) Transitivity
Hypothesis as a theoretical basis. The author argues that the licensing of
the small clauses in adjunct position is not dependent solely on one factor
as is believed by many linguists. Rather, it depends on the interaction
among the semantic properties of the elements of a sentence, i.e., verbs,
adjunct predicates, subjects, and objects. These elements interact in such
a way that they, as a whole, confer higher or lower Transitivity to a given
sentence, which in turn allows or disallows adjunct predicates. If those
elements are higher on the Transitivity hierarchy, adjunct predicates
receive a felicitous interpretation in a given sentence. If, however, the
adjunct is lower on the hierarchy, that is, if it is an individual-level
adjunct, it is ill-formed.

Moreover, Yoon argues that the licensing of small clauses in complement
position can also be accounted for by the Transitivity Hypothesis. More
specifically, applying to small clause complements the distinction between
individual-level vs. stage-level elements, the author argues that a
felicitous interpretation of a small-clause complement depends crucially on
whether the stage-level (higher in Transitivity) or individual-level (lower
in Transitivity) property of a given verb co-varies with the stage-level or
individual-level property of its corresponding small-clause complement.

The study thus supports the view that the licensing of small clauses is
better understood in terms of the compatibility of interacting semantic
properties among sentential elements rather than in terms of discrete
features that do not interact.

Table of Contents:


Chapter 1. Previous Approaches to Small Clauses
1. Introduction
2. Debate Between Small Clause Theory and Predication Theory
2.1 SC Theory
2.2 Predication Theory
3. Classification/Range of Small Clauses
3.1 Evolution of the Concept of Small Clauses
3.2 Classification of SCs for Spanish
3.2.3 Summary
3.3 Syntactic Tests to Distinguish Complement SCs from Adjunct SCs
4. Conclusion

Chapter 2. Theoretical Background
1. Introduction
2. Lexical Aspects and Vendler’s Categories
3. Stage-Level Versus Individual-Level Predicates
4. The Functionalist Approach and Prototypes
5. The Transitivity Hypothesis

For the complete table of contents, please see

Publication Year: 2007
Publisher: Lincom GmbH
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Linguistic Field(s): Applied Linguistics
Subject Language(s): Spanish
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Format: Paperback
ISBN: 9783895869891
ISBN-13: N/A
Pages: 183
Prices: Europe EURO 66.00