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ERIC Number: ED524413
Record Type: Non-Journal
Publication Date: 2011
Pages: 265
Abstractor: As Provided
Reference Count: 0
ISBN: ISBN-978-1-1244-4279-2
On the Internal Structure of Spanish Verbless Clauses
Gonzalez-Rivera, Melvin
ProQuest LLC, Ph.D. Dissertation, The Ohio State University
In this dissertation I discuss several aspects of the syntax, semantics and discourse properties of what I call Spanish verbless clauses -i.e. non-finite utterances with clausal properties: Spanish PredNP "muy listo este tio" "very intelligent this guy", Spanish PP complement clause "me sorprende lo caro del piso" "it amazes me how expensive this apartment is", and Spanish Qualitative Binominal Noun Phases (QBNPs): comparative QBNP "el tonto del alcalde" "the idiot of the mayor" and attributive QBNP "un tonto de alcalde" "an idiot of a mayor". In each of these clauses there is a subject-predicate relationship. The analysis advanced here is that Spanish PredNP, PP complement clauses and comparative QBNP can be analyzed in terms of predicate inversion. Movement of the predicate in each case is due to a strong semantic feature [+X] that needs to be discharged in the course of the syntactic derivation. It is argued that in Spanish PredNP the strong feature "evaluativity" [+E] is responsible for predicate inversion, while in PP complement clauses and comparative QBNP the strong feature "gradability" [+G] triggers movement of the predicate over its subject. In addition, it is argued that a copula or RELATOR lies between the understood subject and predicate of the clauses under analysis. In PP complement clauses and comparative QBNP this RELATOR is the nominal copula "de" "of", which is a meaningless element whose presence in the structure is forced by syntactic constraints. In Spanish PredNP the RELATOR is not empty-i.e. it accommodates the tense feature. This proposal is based on an insight by Benmamoun (2008), who has argued that tense is universally projected even though it does not need to co-occur with a verbal head. The syntactic analysis of attributive QBNP, on the other hand, is different from the previous analysis -i.e. these clauses do not involve predicate inversion. If syntax determines semantics and syntax-semantics interface is a function from syntax (Pollard 2006), then the most natural hypothesis is to assume that the syntax of comparative and attributive QBNPs is different, given that the interpretation of both clauses is not the same. The syntactic analysis developed here is couched within a Generalized Minimalist Grammar (GMG), as developed by Gutierrez-Rexach (1997, 1998). The rationale for a generalized minimalist grammar analysis lies on the assumption that this grammar provides logical formulation to current generativist grammar (e.g. Chomsky 1993, 1995, 2000, 2001; and other authors). In other words, GMG formalizes minimalist ideas. This is by no means a unique enterprise. Lecomte (2005, 2008), for example, seeks a categorial embodiment of Chomsky's minimalist ideas in what he calls Categorial-Minimalist Grammars (CMGs). The goal of such approaches (i.e. GMG, CMGs, etc.) is to emphasize the role played by the lexicon and by very general operations, like e.g. Merge and Move in the minimalist framework, or Application and Abstraction in Categorial Grammars (Lecomte 2005). [The dissertation citations contained here are published with the permission of ProQuest LLC. Further reproduction is prohibited without permission. Copies of dissertations may be obtained by Telephone (800) 1-800-521-0600. Web page:]
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Publication Type: Dissertations/Theses - Doctoral Dissertations
Education Level: N/A
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A