Volume 18, Issue 2
  • ISSN 1571-0718
  • E-ISSN: 1571-0726
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In Spanish, a SVO language with variable word order, post-verbal subjects have been proposed to be favored for particular verb categories. For instance, based on agentivity, unaccusatives are proposed to favor VS as a whole. Motion verbs are regarded as unaccusatives generally favoring VS order. An alternative analysis is presented here, using data from two conversational corpora. Motion verbs are recategorized based on their predicted tendency to include adverbials in the sentence and compared with other unaccusatives. Motion verbs are divided according to their Deictic Function (Talmy 2000) into “come” verbs (i.e., “motion-toward-the-center,” that is, the speaker), and “go” verbs. “Come” verbs do not often require target specification through an adverbial, whereas “go” verbs do. Adverbials were found to appear as post-verbal path specification in “go” verbs; due to weight factors, such specifiers favor pre-verbal subjects. Importantly, even when no modifier is present, trends persist, suggesting entrenchment of usage patterns.


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  • Article Type: Research Article
Keyword(s): subject position; unaccusatives; weight factors
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