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On the grammaticality of recomplementation in Spanish

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Abstract

In English, an overt secondary complementizer has been described as a grammatical violation, a claim that cannot be corroborated for Spanish. The present study fills this gap in the literature by asking whether the overt variety is associated with a decrement in acceptability judgment when compared to the null variety. Results from a speeded aural acceptability judgment task suggest that there is indeed a significant decrement in acceptability rating. This finding is robust across both statement and question constructions. A processing-based account is offered in order to unify results from both Spanish and English. Importantly, given that the native Spanish speakers do not fully reject the overt variety, the proposed account is meant to complement rather than to replace existing grammar-based accounts.

References

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