Le-predicates and event modification in Mexican Spanish

Ía Navarro, M.Teresa Espinal

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleResearchpeer-review

5 Citations (Scopus)


In this paper we will account for the semantic composition of a productive class of predicates in Mexican Spanish formed by lexical verbs that combine with a defective morphosyntactic clitic. Our analysis is thatle corresponds to a lexical affix that is syntactically analysed as a defective High Appl head that selects for intransitive roots or intransitivized verbal bases, and projects a LeP. Semantically, le encodes an intensive meaning and imposes certain restrictions on the specific event schemas denoted by the V it may combine with. We show that le modifies the selected event by classifying it as an Action; and, in addition, the whole modified event may intersectively combine with a locus orgoal property denoted by an external locative or oblique topic adjunct. Le is not an argument of the predicate, and therefore can be associated neither with a referential nor with a coreferential interpretation, but is not expletive either. This paper is relevant for showing how morphosyntax feeds semantics. © 2011 Elsevier B.V.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)409-431
Publication statusPublished - 1 Apr 2012


  • Clitic le
  • Complex predicates
  • Event modification
  • Mexican Spanish


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