On the position of subjects in Spanish periphrases: Subjecthood left and right
Keywords:auxiliary chains, subjects, niching, auxiliary inversion, periphrases
Chains of auxiliary verbs in Spanish allow for the reconceptualization of well-known grammatical problems under the light of understudied structures. In this paper we will deal with issues regarding the position of subjects in declarative and interrogative sentences featuring auxiliary chains. It will become immediately evident that the dichotomy between pre- and post-verbal subjects results inadequate to provide adequate characterisations for the Spanish cases, in contrast to the situation in English. This is so because post-verbal subjects may appear, a priori, to the right of each auxiliary in a chain. These new data, which have received little attention, constitute a challenge for standard hypotheses about the position of subjects in Spanish.
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