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Academic Paper

Title: Bare nominals and incorporating verbs in Spanish and Catalan
Author: M. Teresa Espinal
Institution: Universitat Autònoma de Barcelona
Author: Louise E. McNally
Email: click here TO access email
Institution: Universitat Pompeu Fabra
Linguistic Field: Syntax
Subject Language: Spanish
Abstract: This paper presents an analysis of bare nominals unmarked for number (BNs) occurring in object position in Spanish and Catalan, on which the BN is a syntactic complement to the verb, but not a semantic argument. After describing the properties that distinguish BNs from other indefinite expressions (bare plurals, indefinite singulars preceded by un ‘a’, and bare mass terms), we argue that these BNs occur in a monadic syntactic configuration in the sense of Hale & Keyser (), that they denote first-order properties, and that they are combined with the verb via a modified version of Dayal's () semantics for pseudo-incorporation. Specifically, the proposal consists of a lexical rule that generates the class of verbs that productively accept BN objects, plus a composition rule that treats the BN as modifier of the verb. We point out the advantages of this analysis over three other well-known semantic analyses for combining verbs with property-type nominals. Finally, we show how the analysis can be naturally extended to existential sentences, which combine with BNs although, prima facie, they do not appear to meet the lexical conditions for doing so.


This article appears IN Journal of Linguistics Vol. 47, Issue 1, which you can READ on Cambridge's site or on LINGUIST .

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