The Status of De in Romance Indefinites, Partitives and Pseudopartitives*

M.Teresa Espinal*, Sonia Cyrino

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleResearchpeer-review


This paper focuses on the status of de in Romance indefinites, partitives and pseudopartitives. It argues that there is neither a ‘partitive article’ nor a ‘partitive preposition’ in syntax. De in Romance indefinites is the overt Spell-Out of an abstract operator de that cancels the definiteness of articles and is responsible for indefiniteness. De in Romance partitives is the overt Spell-Out of a relator head that takes a definite DP as complement and a QP in the specifier position. Finally, pseudopartitivity is shown to have crosslinguistic parallels with indefinites, and it is derived by postulating a mono-projectional analysis in which a semilexical N selects for a de-phrase, in exactly the same way that quantifiers and cardinals select for indefinite de-phrases.

Original languageEnglish
JournalStudia linguistica : a journal of general linguistics
Publication statusPublished - 23 Nov 2021


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