Nominative Objects, Quirky Subjects and “gustar”
Following similar analyses originally proposed for Icelandic, it is standard to assume that Spanish also has nominative objects and quirky subjects. For instance, in (1), [el chocolate] is a nominative object in agreement with the verb, and [A los niños] is the quirky subject (marked in Spanish, as in Icelandic and other languages, with dative expressions):
(1) A los niños les gusta el chocolate
However, sometimes a sentence with gustar (to like) can be constructed without dative clitic, and in the canonical order SVO:
(2) La idea gusta a sus habitantes
[From La República, a Peruvian newspaper, 12/05/05]
Is (2) an inversion of the canonical order or gustar can be use in other ways?