subject in nonfinite clauses

Diego Quesada dquesada at CHASS.UTORONTO.CA
Tue Feb 17 22:59:04 UTC 1998

On Tue, 17 Feb 1998, Brian MacWhinney wrote:

> To my extremely non-native ears, the problem with (1) is that there is a
> tendency to pull off "por mi abuela" as a separate phrase.  This would then
> lead to a possible interpretation in which there is some other subject of
> "decir."   In the case of (2) no such temptation arises.
> (1)  *Por mi abuela decir estas cosas ...
> (2)  Por decir estas cosas mi abuela ...
> In other words (1) could be parsed with a comma intonation after "abuela".
> I realize that this is not "para mi abuela", but still there are plenty of
> preposed "por + nominal" phrases  in Spanish.  Many more than would be
> possible in English, for example.

        In none of the four (and many more) cases I provided in a previous
message (two with 'por' and two with 'para' is there the least sign of a
pause. Hence, the explanation falls short here.


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