Why Are There No Locative Conjunctions in Spanish?

María Victoria Pavón Lucero


The main purpose of this paper is to explore why there are no locative subordinating conjunctions in Spanish. As we will see, the absence of this type of conjunctions is due, on the one hand, to its lexical-grammatical properties and, on the other hand, to the semantic structure of locative expressions. Adverbial subordinating conjunctions share properties with both lexical and functional heads. They share with complementizers the requirement that they take an extended projection of the verb as their complement. At the same time, just like lexical categories such as prepositions, they have lexical content and are associated with an argument structure. In this sense, adverbial subordinating conjunctions can be seen as semantic functions which can express several types of relations and take events or states as their internal argument. However, the semantic structure of spatial expressions must contain a place function that takes as argument a conceptual constituent corresponding to the semantic category Thing. The reason for the non-existence of locative subordinating conjunctions is, then, the incompatibility between categorial and semantic requirements in their complement.


subordinating conjunctions, prepositions, complementizers, relative adverbs

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Copyright (c) 2010 María Victoria Pavón Lucero