On (un)grammatical sequences of ses in Spanish

Jonathan E. MacDonald, Almike Vázquez-Lozares

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapter


We discuss the ungrammaticality of Spanish impersonal se (Impse) in combination with another se in control structures. Our main goal is to critically evaluate Martins & Nunes’s (2017) account of parallel phenomena in European Portuguese, who, adopting a movement theory of control, claim that Impse merges in the external argument of the non-finite embedded verb and moves to the matrix clause. When Impse and the other se are transferred within the same phase, the result is ungrammaticality due to an identity violation. We illustrate that their approach cannot be extended to Spanish. Instead, we put forth MacDonald & Vázquez-Lozares’s (2021) proposal as an alternative, which as we show allows for an extension to ungrammatical contexts in which the identity of se cannot be appealed to.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Title of host publicationPoints of Convergence in Romance Linguistics Papers selected from the 48th Linguistic Symposium on Romance Languages (LSRL 48), Toronto, 25-28 April 2018
EditorsGabriela Alboiu
PublisherJohn Benjamins Publishing Company
Number of pages15
ISBN (Electronic)9789027257970
StatePublished - 2022

Publication series

NameCurrent Issues in Linguistic Theory
ISSN (Print)0304-0763


  • Clitic climbing
  • Clitic combinations
  • Control structures
  • Identity violation
  • Impersonal se
  • Paradigmatic se
  • Spanish

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Linguistics and Language
  • Language and Linguistics

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