On Deísmo. Another Case of Variation in Spanish Complementation


  • Bruno Camus


The present paper is dedicated to study the non-standard Spanish construction known as deísmo. The construction can be defined as the use of the preposition de in front of subordinate infinite clauses like in the sentence No permito a mis hijos de llegar tarde ‘I do not allow my children to be late’. The phenomenon appears in other standard variants of Romance languages but in contemporary Spanish this construction seems confined to some southern peninsular dialects. In this study we analyse this construction in conjunction with the data supplied by a group of speakers from Castilla-La Mancha and to a less extent the data obtained from other current dialects of Southern Spain and America. We finally attend to similar facts from Medieval and Classical Spanish and in Western Romance. By doing so we intend to provide the relevant historical clues for a proper account of this structure, as an example of variation in the Romance complementation system.


syntax, infinitive clauses, complementizers, Romance complementation system, Castilla-La Mancha Spanish




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