Doubling and possession

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This paper explores the conjecture that clitic doubling in languages like Spanish shares some fundamental aspects of the semantics of inalienable possession, especially if understood in terms of a syntax of the kind originally advocated by Szabolcsi (1983). A few paradigms are discussed where this correlation would explain otherwise peculiar properties, concerning subtle details in the referentiality of clitic arguments and the aspectual properties of the event where they are taken to participate. In the process, the semantic nature of clitic doubling is shifted from the domain of the obscure or pleonastic to that of integral relations. The paper closes with a syntactic puzzle that the hypothesized correlation poses.


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