Extraposition in River Plate Spanish. A case of clausal doubling?


  • Juan José Arias Universidad Nacional del Comahue


This paper explores a set of constructions from River Plate Spanish in which propositional attitude verbs occur both with a third person feminine accusative clitic and a CP in final position (e.g., No me la esperaba que hiciera tanto frío, ‘I didn’t expect it to be so cold’). The data under analysis, which resemble the well-studied phenomenon of extraposition in English (Jespersen 1933, Postal & Pullum 1988, Rosenbaum 1967, Rothstein 1995, 2004, etc.), have not so far received much attention in the study of Spanish syntax. Our conclusion is that the ‘extraposed’ CPs do not constitute cases of right dislocation or right-adjunction but clear instances of clausal doubling, analogous to the well-known process of clitic doubling with accusative DPs characteristic of Argentine Spanish (e.g., Lo vi a Gonzalo, ‘I saw Gonzalo’). Along the lines of Rothstein (1995, 2004), we argue that the mechanism for licensing the CP is predication and we provide evidence against the hypothesis that the clitic is an object expletive.


CP doubling, object expletives, clitic doubling, right dislocation, predication


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