Emily Warden, PhD student in Romance Languages at UGA, will present her paper "Determining determiners in Spanish"
Spanish Bare Nominals are an interesting syntactic problem because they present much variation, making it difficult to predict their grammaticality. Bare Plurals are severely restricted in preverbal subject position and Bare Singulars are restricted in both subject and object position. Casielles-Suárez (2004) proposes a movement rule that forbids DP-movement of Bare Nominals out of the Verb Phrase. Ishikawa (1999) explains that the restrictions on Bare Nominals are derived from feature-checking requirements of [P]lurality and [R]eferentiality and Extended Case-Chains.
I argue that the restrictions on Bare Nominals do not derive from Casielles’s Movement Rule or Ishikawa’s Extended Case-Chains since these do not explain the presence of Bare Nominals in preverbal subject position or the variation in the grammaticality of Bare Nominals in object position. Instead, I demonstrate how the requirement to check both features [P] and [R] in order to fully license a DP explains the restrictions on both Bare Singulars and Bare Plurals, in both subject and object position. Only fully licensed DPs can both move out of the Verb Phrase and satisfy verb subcategorizations that specify for a mandatory Noun Phrase argument.