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Linguistic Inquiry

Summer 2010, Vol. 41, No. 3, Pages 445-470
(doi: 10.1162/LING_a_00004)
© 2010 Massachusetts Institute of Technology
Variability in the Case Patterns of Causative Formation in Romance and Its Implications
Article PDF (133.33 KB)

Taking Folli and Harley's (2007) analysis of Italian fare-causatives as a starting point, and focusing on Spanish, I examine variation in the distribution of the subject of the embedded infinitive in so-called faire-causatives, and I suggest that there is a robust correlation between the size of the embedded complement and the licensing of particular arguments. I reach this conclusion by investigating syntactic complexity in the domain of hacer-causatives, showing that richer structures obtain when Case factors associated with dative-case-marked arguments are considered. I further show that the specific conditions imposed by these arguments are language particular and arise in the language independently of analytical causatives.