Some reflections on verbs with clitic increase

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In this paper we will address the different values of se, one of the classic problems in Spanish grammar. Specifically, we will talk about the clitic which in the usual descriptions has no argumental value and is non-referential: the clitic sometimes called the reflexive-intensive and more recently the aspectual. We will also examine the clitic which appears with a number of verbs of motion and has also been termed aspectual. As we are dealing with a paradigmatic use of se, we will use the term “clitic increase” in order not to give the impression that we are dealing with a specific problem of the form se. This study is set out as follows: in Section 1 we introduce the two structures to be analysed. The first, is the use with transitive verbs, what we might call prototypical (comerse la paella ([to eat up the paella]) and the second deals with intransitive verbs. In Section 2, verbs of motion with clitic increase are analysed, the more relevant grammatical properties are described and a constant meaning is assigned to the appearance of the clitic. This leads us to a proposal for syntactic analysis in which the clitic is the head of the VoiceP. Then, in Section 3, we review the main properties of the first structure type and we show that our analysis also takes these into consideration. In 4, we consider the question of whether the differences introduced by the appearance of the clitic should be explained by lexicon or grammar. We end with conclusions and bibliography.


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