Vigo International Journal of Applied Linguistics VIAL

Beatriz Rodríguez Arrizabalaga (1): Dead or to death? On translating into Spanish the Semantico-Pragmatic Implications Derived from the English resultative construction. VIAL. Number 0/2003: 121-136.


The almost complete non-existence in Spanish of the remarkably productive English resultative construction with dead/ to death, together with the semantico-pragmatic connotations entailed by the choice of each of these two attributes, bring to the fore in the present paper a syntactic and semantico-pragmatic constrastive analysis of this peculiar structure. Our objective is twofold: (a) to prove that both attributes are in complementary distribution and cannot be, consequently, systematically interchanged; specifically, that the adjectival alternative is required when the verb it complements ensures "death" outside the resultative pattern and that its prepositional counterpart is chosen,in turn, when "death" is not guaranteed by the semantics of the verbal constituent; and (b) to explain how the aforementioned pragmatic contrast is formally encoded, in Spanish it is morphologically expressed through singular/plural number in the translation of the English verb.

(1) Universidad de Huelva, Spain.

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