A new resultative construction in Spanish? A reply to Rodríguez Arrizabalaga
Alessandro Bigolin, Josep Ausensi
October 2021

We respond to Rodríguez Arrizabalaga’s recent claim that Spanish shows genuine cases of strong resultative constructions, e.g., Juan apuñaló a Tomás hasta la muerte ‘John stabbed Tom to death’, argued to be equivalent to the English construction with the PP to death. This claim is theoretically relevant as it challenges the verb-framed behavior of Spanish with respect to Talmy’s typology. Adopting a constructivist view of argument structure, we argue that Spanish hasta la muerte and English to death constructions of this type involve two completely distinct syntactic configurations, and that only the English to death PP can be regarded as a resultative phrase. We claim that the Spanish hasta PP is syntactically computed as an adjunct external to the argument structure of the predicate and provides a bound to the predicate it merges with. We thus show that the Spanish construction with hasta la muerte fully conforms to the class of Talmy’s verb-framed languages, in that this type of construction is expected to be fully available and productive in this class of languages.
Format: [ pdf ]
Reference: lingbuzz/005688
(please use that when you cite this article)
Published in: To appear in Folia Linguistica
keywords: talmy's typology, resultative constructions, english, spanish, semantics, morphology, syntax
previous versions: v3 [May 2021]
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