Spanish impersonal se in control infinitivals and the ungrammaticality of se se sequences

Jonathan E. MacDonald, Almike VÃizquez-Lozares

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapter


In this paper, we offer an analysis of impersonal se (Impse) constructions in control infinitivals. We claim that se itself spells out the valued version of the [uD] feature that Holmberg (2010) and Roberts (2010) propose is a property of T in consistent null subject languages. As a corollary, we link Impse constructions to the consistent null subject status of a language (in the spirit of Belletti, 1982). Moreover, we claim that in Impse constructions there is a projected null external argument (prose) interpreted as non-referential because of the valued version of Holmberg's [uD] feature in T that se spells out. We also argue that ungrammatical sequences of Impse and other se result from the featural deficiency of prose; specifically, it lacks a specification for number.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Title of host publicationEast and West of The Pentacrest Linguistic studies in honor of Paula Kempchinsky
EditorsTimothy Gupton, Elizabeth Gielau
PublisherJohn Benjamins Publishing Company
Number of pages21
ISBN (Electronic)9789027259929
StatePublished - 2021

Publication series

NameIssues in Hispanic and Lusophone Linguistics
ISSN (Print)2213-3887


  • Control infinitives
  • Feature deficiency
  • Romance impersonal se
  • Spanish

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Language and Linguistics
  • Linguistics and Language


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