Article published in:Inquiries in Hispanic Linguistics: From theory to empirical evidence
Edited by Alejandro Cuza, Lori Czerwionka and Daniel Olson
[Issues in Hispanic and Lusophone Linguistics 12] 2016
► pp. 21–38
Towards a theory of pronominal verb constructions in Spanish
This paper proposes a unified account of three types of constructions in which the se clitic appears, which are dubbed pronominal verb constructions (PVCs) . unaccusatives like acatarrar-se (get sick), unergatives like quejar-se (complain) and transitives like zampar-se algo (to wolf something down). The main claims are (i) that the verbs in question represent classes that are specified to select a “defective” head (= a head that does not introduce a theta role and/or assign case) in their predicate-argument argument structure and (ii) Spanish marks such defective heads as [ϕ], a diacritic that triggers insertion of se post-syntactically at T. The different classes of PVCs are derived from the type of defective head that is selected, Voice[ϕ] in the case of intransitives and P[ϕ] in the case of transitives.
Keywords: Agreement, Argument structure, Pronominal verbs
Published online: 01 November 2016
Campanini, C., & Schäfer, F.
(2011) Optional se-constructions in Romance: Syntactic encoding of conceptual information. Handout from talk given at GLOW 34 , Universität Wien.
Campos, H., & Kempchinsky, P.
De Miguel, E., & Fernández Lagunilla, M.
Hale, K., & Keyser, S.J.
Pujalte, M., & Saab, A.