Aspectos sintácticos y semánticos del pronombre SE

Francesco D'Introno, Verónica González, Javier Rivas

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

4 Scopus citations


The features that account for the meaning of telic se in sentences like El niño se comió la manzana are not found in the verbal aspect. Instead, we show that se in this construction is a reflexive dative of interest that is associated with the following semantic characteristics: a) beneficiary/ maleficiary, i.e. the action is performed in favor of or against the referent of the dative; b) possessive, i.e. the referent of the dative is the possessor of the direct object; c) singularity of the agent, i.e. the subject of the construction has full responsibility for the action; d) specificity of the theme, i.e. the direct object has to be specific; e) intentionality, i.e. the subject performs the action willingly. To prove our hypothesis we have analyzed the results obtained from an anonymous questionnaire completed by 32 native Spanish speakers. Findings show that the specificity of the theme is a sufficient condition for the occurrence of se.

Original languageSpanish
Pages (from-to)5-25
Number of pages21
JournalBoletin de Linguistica
Issue number28
StatePublished - Dec 1 2007


  • Reflexive dative of interest
  • Telic se
  • The specificity of the theme

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Language and Linguistics
  • Linguistics and Language

Cite this