Chapter published in:Hispanic Linguistics: Current issues and new directions
Edited by Alfonso Morales-Front, Michael J. Ferreira, Ronald P. Leow and Cristina Sanz
[Issues in Hispanic and Lusophone Linguistics 26] 2020
► pp. 137–160
The aspectual structure of the adjective
Spanish ser and estar
This paper argues that the stage-level and individual-level distinctions for adjectival predicates, diagnosed in Spanish by the copulas ser and estar, can be derived by positing a sortal distinction in the temporal arguments in the syntax: The temporal argument of individual-level adjectives denotes time intervals, whereas the time argument of stage-level adjectives denotes time instants. We provide evidence from the (un-)acceptability of certain temporal modifiers, the progressive, and lifetime effects. We furthermore show how our account can also explain other instances of the ser and estar distribution beyond adjectives, such as verbal and adjectival passives and locative constructions with and without eventive subjects.
- 2.Gradability-based approaches
- 2.1Merits and problems for the gradability account
- 3.1The technical implementation
- 4.Temporal evidence
- 4.1The Progressive and <estar + Adj>
- 4.2Lifetime effects
- 5.Beyond adjectives: Passives and locatives
- 5.1Stative and eventive passives
- 5.2 Ser + Eventive subjects in locatives
- 6.The evidential reading of estar
- 7.Back to the gradability account
Published online: 13 May 2020
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