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Spanish aspectual se as an indirect object reflexive: The import of atelicity, bare nouns, and leísta PCC repairs

Jonathan E. MacDonald
From the journal Probus

Abstract

This article discusses four properties of Spanish aspectual se constructions. 1. The telicity inducing effects of se; 2. The ungrammaticality of bare noun direct objects; 3. Leísta Spanish Person Case Constraint (PCC) repairs; and 4. A central/terminal coincidence relation between the direct object and the subject. I show that aspectual se does not induce telicity with stative VPs. The ungrammaticality of bare noun direct objects results from the direct object functioning as an ‘inner subject’ of a complex predicate formed by the verb and a null preposition, the complement of which is a pro coreferential with the external argument. The semantics of the null P plus verb give rise to a central/terminal coincidence relation between the direct object and the complement of P. Moreover, I argue that the null pro moves to Spec, Appl and functions as an indirect object. In this respect, aspectual se is an indirect object reflexive. The resulting structure, moreover, is fundamentally a double object construction, a construction in which PCC effects are known to hold.

Acknowledgments

I thank three anonymous reviewers for their questions and comments. I thank audiences at the Spanish Linguistics Colloquium at the University of Wisconsin Madison, the UIUC Syntax-Semantics reading group members as well as students in my Spring 2015 Clitics Seminar at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign where different versions of this work have been presented. Special thanks to Grant Armstrong with whom I have discussed many of the issues addressed in the article. All errors, of course, are my own.

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Published Online: 2016-4-22
Published in Print: 2017-5-1

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