Paola Cepeda

Stony Brook University
Talk Title: 
Against Double Object Constructions in Spanish and Portuguese: Ditransitives revisited
Event Type: 
Brown Bag Talk
Spring 2017
Wednesday, March 29, 2017, 1:00 pm
Seminar Room


Against Double Object Constructions in Spanish and Portuguese: Ditransitives revisited

Paola Cepeda (Stony Brook University)

(This is a joint work with Sonia Cyrino, University of Campinas)

Spanish, European Portuguese and Brazilian Portuguese allow two possible linear orders for the direct (DO) and indirect object (IO) in ditransitives: DO>IO and IO>DO. We show that the arguments supporting a Double Object Construction (DOC) in these languages (Demonte 1995, Cuervo 2003, Torres-Morais & Salles 2010, a.o.) are neither semantically nor structurally conclusive. Accordingly, we claim that there is no DOC in these three languages (as in Kayne 1984). We provide evidence that DO>IO and IO>DO are derivationally related, DO>IO being the base order (Larson 2014). IO>DO is only possible when DO is either heavy or conveying new information in the discourse. In this case, IO and DO occupy the specifier of a low periphery TopP and FocP, respectively (à la Belletti 2004). By offering a unified analysis, this paper aims to contribute to a better understanding of ditransitives in Romance, a topic not yet thoroughly analyzed comparatively.



Belletti, A. (2004) Aspects of the low IP area. In L. Rizzi (ed.), The structure of CP and IP. The cartography of syntactic structures, 16-51. Oxford: Oxford Univesity Press.

Cuervo, M.C. (2003) Datives at Large. Ph.D. dissertation. Massachusetts Institute of Technology.

Demonte, V. (1995) Dative alternation in Spanish. Probus 7, 5-30.

Kayne, R. (1984) Connectedness and Binary Branching. Dordrecht: Foris Publications.

Larson, R. (2014) On shell structure. New York: Routledge.

Torres Morais, M.A. & H.M.L. Salles (2010) Parametric change in the grammatical encoding of indirect objects in Brazilian Portuguese. Probus 22, 181-209.