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Two Types of Impersonal Sentences in Spanish: Locative and Dative Subjects

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This paper gives further support for the claim that the EPP feature in T and ψ-features agreement/nominative Case assignment can be fulfilled by different elements. Some Spanish impersonal sentences will be analyzed that contain predicates selecting for a locative or dative as an external argument. The predicates under study are of two types: stative and eventive. The existential verb haber (which incorporates a locative clitic in the present tense verbal morphology) belongs to the first type. The verbs suceder, ocurrir, ‘to happen’, as well as meteorological verbs, belong to the second class. Data regarding word order, idiom formation, existential interpretation, raising, extraction from coordinate structures, and nominalization show that with these impersonal predicates the locative/dative PPs behave as real subjects, and contrast with those which appear in locative-inversion constructions, which involve anteposition of an internal argument. It will be shown that these arguments bear quirky Case and are generated in the highest node in the extended VP projection.
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Document Type: Original Article

Affiliations: Dept. Filogía Española, Fac. Filosofía Y Letras, Universidad Autónoma de Madrid, Spain

Publication date: August 1, 1999

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