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RLA. Revista de lingüística teórica y aplicada

versión On-line ISSN 0718-4883

Resumen

PARIS, LUIS. ASPECTUAL PREFERENCES IN THE LEXICON AND MORPHO-SYNTACTIC COMPENSATION: THE SPANISH-ENGLISH CONTRAST. RLA [online]. 2015, vol.53, n.1, pp.59-81. ISSN 0718-4883.  http://dx.doi.org/10.4067/S0718-48832015000100004.

In this paper we propose two complementary hypotheses on the construction of event representations. The first one is that English displays a preference for codifying Processes in the semantic representations of verbs while Spanish favors Events. We call this thesis 'aspectual preference'. The second hypothesis -called 'compensatory'- is that the two languages have syntactic constructions that introduce the devalued semantic resource - either Process or Event, respectively- and, therefore, these constructions counterweight the unbalance produced by the aspectual preferences in the lexicon. The Spanish Internal Gerund Construction (IGC) allows speakers to introduce Processes that specify the internal parts of an Event. The English Resultative Construction (RC) permits speakers to introduce Results into Processes that, hence, become enclosed and turned into Events. The compensatory interpretation is further backed up by absence of IGC in English and the lack of RG in English. This contrast between the procedures for construction of event representations is further corroborated by the causative alternation. The point of departure in English is a simple, mono-event semantics that gets richer by incorporating a causative subevent through syntactic means. In contrast, the Spanish strategy is not of enrichment but of extraction: A complex Event is split apart by morphosyntax.

Palabras clave : Events; lexical aspect; resultative construction.

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