I came across a term that is new to me, "verbos de transferencia," in a recent comment. Is this an esoteric term from grammar, linguistics or some more narrow field? What sort of sorting of verbs is going on here, and what are the other possibilities? What are the practical benefits, if any, to learning this way of sorting verbs?


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It appears that the expression verbos de transferencia is indeed a thing in Spanish linguistics. The term appears, for example, in a paper about the semantics of the Spanish dative, or a classification of verbs, and surely in many other places. It doesn't seem to be an exotic or even interesting concept, but merely a useful label for a class of verbs that includes dar and its counterpart recibir.

In the first paper I cited the verbs of transference are restricted to those that refer to material (physical) transference (examples: confiar, devolver, enviar, infligir, otorgar, proporcionar, regalar, transferir, transmitir) , but in other places there's talk also of verbos de transferencia de información.

In the second paper I cited a project is explained that consists on the classification of Spanish verbs into a few classes of this kind. I would guess that such a classification would be useful to some students, or rather, to some teachers, or to the ones who design textbooks. By grouping verbs along syntactic and semantic lines, you can show the student how the same logic applies to many verbs.

  • Thanks, Pablod76. I have the impression you are familiar with all the standard stuff in linguistics as related to Spanish. But you wrote, "It appears that." I'm not sure -- did you mean you just learned about this now in response to my question? Commented Aug 16, 2019 at 22:52
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    Yes, I did. I'd never tried to find out about them because as I said, I don't think it's a very interesting concept in itself.
    – pablodf76
    Commented Aug 17, 2019 at 1:37

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