Datives, prepositions, and argument structure in Spanish

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Dative structures in Spanish cover a great variety of meanings, and several attempts have been made to provide a unified explanation of these constructions. In this paper, I review some of these proposals and present a new analysis overcoming some of their limitations. The paper concentrates on the idea of “transfer of possession” as the key notion responsible for the contrasts between dative structures, and explores the relation between dative and prepositional constructions. The analysis hinges on the idea that the dative clitic heads an aspectual projection responsible for both structural dative assignment and the affected interpretation associated to the dative argument. Semantic and syntactic tests, such as nominalisation and passivisation results, contribute to support the proposal.


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