Unpronounced MUCH and the distribution of degree expressions in Spanish

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This paper focuses on the distribution of degree adjectival modifiers in Spanish. We distinguish two series of morphologically related degree expressions in Spanish: –to vs. –toless forms, i.e. tanto ‘so much’ vs. tan ‘so’. In the framework of Corver’s (1997) Split-DegP Hypothesis, it will be shown that the distribution of these two series of degree expressions corresponds to that of Q-heads (–to forms) and Degheads (–toless forms). We argue that Q-heads, as opposed to Deg-heads, are nominals, more concretely adjectives, and that they license an unpronounced MUCH head (cf. Kayne 2002). MUCH will be shown to play a crucial role in the account of the distribution of Q-heads and Deg-heads in Spanish. We also consider the relationship between MUCH in Spanish and overt much in English much-support contexts, as well as the somewhat different conditions determining the licensing of these two elements. Finally, we argue that the postulation of an unpronounced MUCH accounts for the particular syntactic properties of very in English


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