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The Internal Structure of Absolute Small Clauses

Catalan Working Papers in Linguistics
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  • Logic


The Interna1 Structure of Absolute Small Clauses Luis Mpez Cornell University This paper is an investigation into the functionai shucture of Absolute Small Clauses (ASCs), with data based on Spanish. ASCs are composed of a predicate and an NP and they are adjoined to a main clause without a mediating complementizer. It is shown that theu structure is not 'speciai' but a proper subset of main clause structure. ASCs have some interesting restrictions: (i) Individual Level (IL) predicates are disailowed. (ii) deep subjects are disailowed, and (iii) the order NP+predicate is disailowed. The analysis of (i)-(iii) relies on recent proposais regarding clause structure, in particular, (i) Diesing's Mapping Hypothesis and her structurai analysis of the IndividuallStage Level distinction and (ii) what Koizumi has termed the Split VP Hypothesis, according to which some functionai categories are generated between the lower and the upper VP shells. Additionaily, the question of how the case of the NP is checked is addressed, and it is suggested that the feature composition of the head Aspect in ASCs is minimaily different from that of main clauses. A discussion of Itaiian ASCs ensues and it is argued that they have the same structure as the Spanish ones. 1. Introduction The empirical scope of this paper is Spanish Absolute Small Clauses (henceforth ASCs). ASCs are adjuncts composed of a predicate -usually, but not necessarily, a past participle- and a noun phrase, which is optional in many cases. In (la) the predicate that heads the ASC is a participle, in (Ib,c) it is an adjective, in (lc,d) it is an adverb (examples from Hernanz (1991)): Catalun Working Papers in Linguistics (Cat WPL) 4.1 '(1994): 45-92 Universitat Autbnoma de Barcelona (1) a. Desaparecidas las joyas, llamaron a la policia. disappeared the jewels called3pl to the police b. Limpias las m a s , 10s soldados salieron a la calle. cleaned the weapons the soldiers went-

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