position of subject in nonfinite clauses

Diego Quesada dquesada at CHASS.UTORONTO.CA
Tue Feb 17 22:55:24 UTC 1998

On Mon, 16 Feb 1998, Jon Aske wrote:

> Hi, again,
> On Monday, February 16, 1998 9:30 PM J. Clancy Clements (Kapil) said:
> > I have another question which I can't figure out a functionalist-oriented
> > response to.  In Spanish, nonfinite clauses (i.e. infinitival and
> > gerundive clauses) cannot have a subject preverbally.   For example,
> >
> > Por decir estas cosas mi abuela...
> > because-of say these things my grandmother
> > "Because of my grandmother saying these things..."
> >
> > *Por mi abuela decir estas cosas...
> First of all I must say that this last starred clause doesn't sound all that
> bad to me, so let me hear from other speakers.  Maybe some other language is
> interefering with my Spanish here.

        My black-box agrees with Jon's assessment of the preinfinitival
subject. I hear things like this all the time

        (1)     Por vos andar de hocicon ahora...

        (2)     Por Juan estar de guardia ese dia...

In the Dominican Republic and other Caribbean places, one hears

        (3)     Para yo saber que tu dices

        (4)     Para tu decirme si esta bien.


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