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Abstract

Abstract

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 ( ) 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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/content/journals/10.1075/sic.19006.pul
2021-07-27
2021-09-24
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  • Article Type: Research Article
Keywords: subject position ; weight factors ; unaccusatives
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