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Gerunds become prepositional infinitives in Romance Small Clauses: The effects of later Merge to the syntactic spine

Authors
  • Casalicchio, Jan
Type
Published Article
Journal
Probus
Publisher
De Gruyter
Publication Date
May 25, 2019
Volume
31
Issue
1
Pages
75–117
Identifiers
DOI: 10.1515/probus-2019-0003
Source
De Gruyter
Keywords
License
Green

Abstract

This article offers a comparative analysis of “predicative” gerunds (“PGs”) and prepositional infinitives (“PIs”), focussing on perception constructions in Spanish (PGs) and European Portuguese (PIs). I demonstrate that these two constructions are diachronically related and that they still have a similar syntax. The evidence discussed suggests that both constructions are Small Clauses headed by a preposition of central coincidence. In PGs, this preposition is merged in a low aspectual projection and incorporates into the verb. In PIs, an evolution of PGs, it is merged later in the structure. This leads to a layering process, i.e. the splitting of a single head into a series of heads and transferring the semantics of one functional head to more heads. Thus, PIs have a more expanded structure than gerunds. Finally, further empirical evidence for this analysis is discussed, such as the insertion of adverbs and the use of sin (“without”) to negate the perceived event.

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