Null object constructions in standard Spanish revisited*

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University of Calgary
Most of the literature of null objects has accounted for the categorial status of these empty constituents by resorting to categories such as PRO, pro, NP-trace or wh-trace, and most recently, null epithet (Lasnik & Stowell, 1991). These categories are shown to be insufficient to describe null objects in standard Spanish. Therefore, a new type of empty category seems to be necessary in this language to account for null non-definite bare direct object constructions. This paper also specifically examines subjunctive and indicative constructions that contain null objects in complement clauses. The difference between these two types of constructions is looked at in terms of operator-variable binding and subjacency effects. In this regard, it is shown, following a suggestion by Campos (1986), that subjunctive and infinitive costructions constitute a weak bounding node for subjacency while indicative constructions constitute a strong bounding node. I claim that subjunctive and indicative constructions are better characterized as [-Tense] by being devoid of time features whereas indicative is characterized as [+Tense]. A number of reasons and relevant data are put forward to support the conjoined analysis of subjunctive-infinitive as opposed to indicative.
Marta Jevenois, University of Southern California
Linguistics, Syntax, Spanish language, Grammar, Comparative and general--Direct object, Distinctive features (Linguistics)
Jevenois, M. (1997). Null object constructions in standard Spanish revisited*. Calgary Working Papers in Linguistics, 19(Winter), 111-136.