In recent years, the study of the use of possessive complements instead of prepositional ones in the adverbial domain, as in encima mío/a vs. encima de mí ‘above me’, has received increased interest (e.g. Salgado & Bouzouita 2017; Marttinen Larsson & Bouzouita forthc.). However, what is less known and remains unstudied, is a similar phenomenon in the verbal domain, e.g. habla mal mío vs habla mal de mí ‘he bad-mouths me’. Although Bertolotti (2014) and Mare (2015) have pointed out this phenomenon for River Plate and Venezuelan Spanish, no study has examined its geographic distribution. Similarly, little to nothing is known about the grammatical and sociolinguistic factors that govern it (although see Bouzouita & Pato forthc. for a study of gustar ‘to like’).
The following research questions will be addressed. Firstly, the geographic distribution of the possessive verbal complement will be analysed. Secondly, the grammatical features of the possessive pronouns (e.g. person, number, gender) and of the verbs involved (e.g. verbs, prepositions) will be examined. Finally, several hypotheses for the genesis and spread of this possessive verbal construction will be scrutinised, among which various language contact scenarios and the analogical spread from other categorical domains as, interestingly, southern Brazilian and Italian varieties also display this phenomenon and the use of possessives has increased in other domains, such as the adverbial one (e.g. Marttinen Larsson & Álvarez López 2017).