Predicate doubling in Spanish: On how discourse may mimic syntactic movement
Carlos Muñoz Pérez, Matías Verdecchia
October 2021

Predicate doubling in Spanish is usually taken to involve multiple copy spell-out. This approach is mainly motivated by the fact that two instances of the same lexical verb appear in the construction, and by the observation that the pattern is sensitive to island restrictions. In contrast, we contend in this paper that predicate doubling is a phenomenon for which an analysis based on multiple copy spell-out cannot be empirically substantiated. We argue that the construction is better understood as involving a base-generated predicate in the left periphery that functions as a contrastive topic. We show that a number of properties of predicate doubling follow from this analysis, including lexical identity between the verbs and sensitivity to islands. Furthermore, our proposal provides a rationale for genus-species splits in the construction, and also offers a straightforward account for otherwise mysterious asymmetries arising with factive verbs.
Format: [ pdf ]
Reference: lingbuzz/005218
(please use that when you cite this article)
Published in: To appear in Natural Language & Linguistic Theory
keywords: spanish, predicate doubling, contrastive topic, question under discussion, islands, syntax
previous versions: v1 [May 2020]
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