Spanish (proper noun-head) pseudorelatives: a corpus-based study of frequency

  • Nuria Aldama García
  • Antonio Moreno Sandoval
Keywords: Pseudorelatives, proper noun, corpus, frequency, Spanish, CORPES XXI


Abstract – Pseudorelatives (PRs) have been studied from syntactic and semantic perspectives for decades. The literature contains explanations regarding PRs internal structure, the way PRs relate to the matrix predicate, the position PRs can occupy within the matrix clause and the role the head of the PR plays within the embedded clause. PRs processing and attachment have also been studied from diverse psycholinguistic views. However, there is no corpus-based study showing the actual frequency of use of PRs or the register (i.e. written or spoken texts, genres) where these structures are more commonly found. The goal of this paper is to study the frequency of use of a subtype of PRs, namely Spanish PRs having a proper noun within the DP head and the varieties of Spanish where they appear. To do so, two different search patterns based on the most salient syntactic properties of PRs were built up and applied to CORPES XXI. The results extracted from this research process point towards three main ideas. This subtype of PRs is a very low frequency structure in Spanish, texts from the Chilean and the Mexican and Central American linguistic areas contain the highest frequency values and this subtype of PRs is only registered in written texts up to the moment.

Author Biographies

Nuria Aldama García
Universidad Autónoma de Madrid / Spain
Antonio Moreno Sandoval
Universidad Autónoma de Madrid / Spain