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Null Directional Prepositions in Romanian and Spanish

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Abstract

This paper is concerned with non-reflexive non-argumental clitic pronouns of Spanish and reflexive non-argumental clitic pronouns of Romanian. These two clitics pattern together when contrasted with reflexive non-argumental clitic pronouns of Spanish with respect to the following properties: 1. the ability to elicit a telic interpretation of the predicate; 2. the ability to express an on/with entailment; 3. the ability to express temporary relations; 4. the ability to prevent idiomatic interpretation; and 5. the ability to be modified by adjectival secondary predicates. Considering these properties, it is shown that Spanish reflexives pattern with goal PPs (e.g. <i>to</i>)<i> </i>and that Spanish non-reflexives and Romanian reflexives pattern with directional PPs (e.g. <i>toward</i>). Based on these patterns, it is argued that each of these clitics is introduced as the complement of a null preposition that merges as a complement of the verb; the low merger of the null PP accounts for properties 4. and 5. Variation comes from the presence or absence of the properties in 1.-3 on the null prepositions themselves.

References

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