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Two types of (apparently) ditransitive light verb constructions

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Abstract

An analysis of Spanish ditransitive constructions with light verb <i>dar</i> reveals that despite surface similarity these constructions belong to two groups corresponding to distinct argument structures. While expressions like dar <i>permiso/&#225;nimo</i> &#8216;give permission/encouragement&#8217; correspond to double-object constructions, experiencer constructions like <i>dar miedo/envidia</i> &#8216;give fear/envy&#8217; correspond to an unaccusative structure that patterns syntactically and semantically with configurations with psychological predicates of the <i>piacere/gustar</i> &#8216;like&#8217; type. On the present account, the morphosyntactic and semantic properties of the construction &#8211;including subject properties of the dative, case, and restrictions on bare nouns&#8211; derive directly from the way sentences are built in the syntax, not from stipulations in lexical entries or linking rules. The proposal is extended to cover predicates formed with other light verbs (e.g., <i>ser</i> &#8216;be&#8217;, <i>parecer</i> &#8216;seem&#8217;, <i>resultar</i> &#8216;be&#8217;, <i>quedar</i> &#8216;remain&#8217;).

References

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