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Kay-Eduardo Gonzlez-Vilbazo and Eva-Maria Remberger

Ser and estar: The syntax of stage level and individual level predicates in Spanish*

Studying the relevant works concerning the distinction between stage level and individual level predicates (SLP/ILP) in linguistics, one often encounters references to the Spanish copular verbs ser and estar (e.g. Diesing 1992, Demirdache & Uribe-Etxebarria 2000, Maienborn 2001). In these copular verbs, the SLP/ILP-distinction seems to find its overt realization. The use of the verb ser is usually connected to ILP-characteristics, the use of estar to the SLP-phenomenon. We propose a minimalist account for the differences in semantic and syntactic behaviour of ser/estar (following Chomsky 1995). Contrary to Kratzer (1995), we assume an implicitly realized event argument for both SLPs and ILPs, which characterizes the spatiotemporal reference of the situation or eventuality expressed by the predicate (cf. Davidson 1967). This event position is localized in the predication phrase PrP as proposed by Bowers (1993, 2001). The PrP represents an extension of the VP-shell analysis (s. Larson 1988) to non-verbal predication, as found in copulative constructions. We assume that complex interactions between the features of the Pr-head and the features of the minimalist T (I) (and probably also the C) will result in either the SLP or the ILP interpretation. The Spanish data concerning ser and estar allow us to analyse the syntactical conditions which lead to the SLP/ILP-distinction, making the correlation between syntactic and semantic behaviour evident. We propose that both ser and estar are syntactical default strategies (last resort). If the predicate is a SLP and no verb is available in the numeration, then estar will be introduced into the derivation under Pr. If the predicate is an ILP and no verb is available in the numeration, then ser will be merged under T. Quantificational approaches to times, especially reference time (Reichenbach 1947, Vikner 1985, Giorgi & Pianesi 1997) are also taken into consideration. Where the SLP/ILP-distinction is not expressed syntactically (by ser or estar) we assume that the chosen interpretation results from spatiotemporal knowledge of the world, i.e. it is conditioned by pragmatics (s. Maienborn 2001, 2003, 2005).

1.

Introduction

Spanish is one language among others (e.g. Portuguese, Catalan, but also Gaelic) which uses two copula verbs. One of these (the common copula ser, from the Latin copula esse(re) to be) is used in the context of individual level predicates (ILP), the other one (the copula estar, from the Latin verb stare to stand) is used in the context of stage level predicates (SLP). Ser and estar also show different behaviours in other syntactic constructions; e.g. the passive, ECM constructions, or the progressive.
*

We want to thank the participants of the Linguistische Arbeitskreis at the Institute of German Philology at the University of Cologne for the valuable discussion and helpful proposals at the first presentation of this paper. We also want to thank Volker Struckmeier and two anonymous reviewers for further comments.

To appear in: Maienborn, Claudia & Angelika Wllstein: Event Arguments in Syntax, Semantics, and Discourse. Tbingen: Niemeyer. 89-114.

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Although we do not go into details with respect to the semantic distinction of SLP and ILP, it might be useful to mention some properties of these predicate types:1 ILP encode properties which are attributed to the subject as an individual and not just to a state of that individual. These properties are usually permanent, inherent qualities of the subject. They are often said to be essential, gnomic and compatible with a categorical judgement (which refers to an individual object). The properties ascribed to the subject by the predicate are arbitrary or generic with respect to space-time and situation. SLP, on the contrary, are temporary, episodic or accidental to the subject. They express dynamic circumstances compatible with a thetic judgement (which describes a situation). These properties of the subject are presented as specific or existential with respect to timespace and situation.2 Looking at the examples (1)-(4) taken from German will help to clarify the use of stage level and individual level predicates. (1) Anna ist (*gerade) intelligent. Anna is intelligent (*right now). (Maienborn 2001: 3) [ILP] [ILP] [SLP] (Maienborn 2001: 3) [SLP]

(2) ?? Heidi war in der Disco blond. Heidi was blond in the Disco. (3) (4) Anna ist (gerade) betrunken. Anna is drunk (right now). Heidi war in der Disco mde. Heidi was tired in the Disco.

In (1) we find an example for an ILP. The predicate attributes the property of being intelligent to the subject. This property is permanent and inherent to the subject. It is a property of the individual as such and not of the individual under certain circumstances. It is part of Anna to be intelligent. That is why restricting intelligent with a temporal modifier like right now results in ungrammaticality.3 The same applies to (2), where the
1

2 3

There is a vast amount of literature concerning the SLP/ILP-distinction on the one hand and the Spanish copula verbs on the other. Beginning with Milsarks (1974) generalization about (individual) properties and Carlson (1977), who introduced the conceptual terminology of stage level and individual level predicates, to Kratzers (1995) well known interpretation of ILP as a predication which lacks an event argument, here we will name Diesing (1992), whose approach we will rely on with respect to the generic vs. existential distinction in the final section of this paper (cf. section 8); in this context see also Chierchia (1995), Raposo & Uriagereka (1995), Kornack (1998); see also Maienborn (2003, 2005) and the literature quoted there. As for the Spanish copula, see Fernndez Leborans (1995, 1999), Mejas-Bikandi (1993), Lujn (1981), Clancy Clements (1988), among many others. See Sasse (1987), Ladusaw (1994), Raposo & Uriagereka (1995). It is not very common to say that a person is intelligent just in a specific moment (as expressed by gerade), and if it is said, then the only plausible interpretation would be to adapt the meaning of intelligent pragmatically to a just temporary quality. The same can be said about example (2) and the meaning of blond which is usually an ILP: If the expression contains a specific location in

To appear in: Maienborn, Claudia & Angelika Wllstein: Event Arguments in Syntax, Semantics, and Discourse. Tbingen: Niemeyer. 89-114.

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local restriction of the individual property of Heidi is at least strongly marked if not ungrammatical. On the other side predicates like betrunken (drunk) or mde (tired) are restrictable with respect to time or space, as shown by (3) and (4). They encode qualities of a state (or better, a specific moment on stage)4 of an individual, not of the individual as such. They commonly encode temporary qualities and can therefore be anchored in a specific time and space by adverbial expressions.

2.

The Spanish copula: Ser and estar

In German, the interpretation of an adjective seems to depend on the prototypical use of this adjective and additional semantic and pragmatic readjustment processes in case there are space-time relations which contradict the prototypical use. In German, there is just one copula and therefore there are no means to control the SLP/ILP-distinction syntactically, i.e. before pragmatics comes into play. In Spanish, the situation is different. Spanish uses ser when the intended interpretation is ILP and estar if the interpretation is SLP; the prototypical meaning of the corresponding adjectives5 can be overridden when there is an overt copula6 and no pragmatic readjustment is possible in cases of overt time-space relations which contradict the selection of the copula; s. (5b). The relevance of the two Spanish copulas ser and estar for the SLP/ILP distinction can be shown by the following examples: (5) a. Ana es / *est inteligente. Ana is intelligent. b. * Ana es inteligente en este momento. Ana is-SER intelligent right now. [ILP / ser] *[SLP / ser]

space (as in the Disco) an ILP-interpretation is not possible anymore and the meaning of blond is adapted to a temporary quality or episodic impression. In (3) and (4), on the contrary, it is easily possible to give a specific time or space location without altering the prototypical meaning of the adjectives. It has been noted that states (following the systematisation of verb classes by Vendler 1967) and SLP do not coincide; for the distinction of states in K-states (which comprise the copulative constructions with ser and estar) and D-states, see Maienborn (2001:91-2, 2005:168): K-states are temporally bound exemplifications of properties which might rely to a specific discourse situation or not; D-states are static spatiotemporal entities with functionally involved participants [tr. by E.R:]. In Demonte (1999:142) the prototypical adjectives which go with estar are classified as episodical adjectives (adjectivos episdicos), the prototypical ones which go with ser as individual adjectives (adjectivos individuales). This means that Ana est inteligente is also a possible grammatical sentence in Spanish (at least as grammatical as what has been said about Heidi ist gerade intelligent in (1). It is just not very common to use inteligente as a predicate encoding a temporary quality.

92 (6) (7) (8) Ana *es / est borracha. Ana is drunk. Mara es lista. Mara is smart. Mara est lista. Mara is ready.

Kay-Eduardo Gonzlez-Vilbazo and Eva-Maria Remberger

[SLP / estar] [ILP / ser / clever]] [SLP / estar / ready]

In (5a), inteligente is used as an ILP; therefore, the copula ser must be used. In (6), borracho is intended to refer to a temporary property; therefore, the copula estar is used. Having an overt specific anchoring in time as en este momento in (5b), the insertion of ser becomes impossible or would result in an ungrammatical (contradictory) expression. There are several polysemic adjectives which can have quite different interpretations (and translations to other languages) depending on which copula is used in their context: One of these is listo which means smart when used in an ILP-context (i.e. with ser) and ready when used in an SLP-context (i.e. with estar). Other adjectives with the same behaviour are aburrido bored (SLP) or boring (ILP), molesto annoyed (SLP) or bothersome (ILP).7

3.

Selectional restrictions of ser and estar

The correlation between ser and ILP on one side and estar and SLP on the other is partially a semantic question. We would like to abstract away from the problems concerning the semantic aspects and the prototypical uses of the predicative elements used with Spanish copulas. We will not attempt to define clear semantic selectional restrictions for these copulas. Instead, we focus on syntax, and give a syntactic analysis of the Spanish copula construction which, in the end, will bear some implications for its semantics. The (syntactic) selectional restrictions of ser and estar are quite similar, but not identical. As (9) and (12) show, both copula forms can select an AP. The examples in (11) and (14) show that they can select a PP. With respect to the selection of DPs they behave differently. Whereas ser can select a DP, estar cannot, as can be seen in (10) and (13).

Fernndez Leborans (1999:2430): Algunos adjectivos perfectivos o ciertos participios son bismicos, esto es, poseen dos accepciones claramente diferenciadas en el lxico o constituyen dos entradas lexicales. In this case, we should call these adjectives homonymic but not polysemic. Since we claim that the semantic interpretation of these adjectives is conditioned by the syntactic context ser or estar, we prefer to assume just one single polysemic entry for them.

To appear in: Maienborn, Claudia & Angelika Wllstein: Event Arguments in Syntax, Semantics, and Discourse. Tbingen: Niemeyer. 89-114.

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ser: (9) (10) (11) Ana es inteligente. Ana is intelligent. Ana es mdico / una diosa. Ana is a doctor / a goddess. Su reloj es de oro.8 Her/his watch is made of gold. [AP] [DP] [PP]

Estar seems to be restricted to adjectival (see (12)) and prepositional (see (14)) predicates. A combination with a true DP seems to be impossible (see (13) and fn. 9). estar: (12) Ana est borracha. Ana is drunk. [AP] [*DP] [PP]

(13) * Ana est mdico / una diosa.9 Ana is a doctor / a goddess. (14) Ana est en Paris. Ana is in Paris.

This selectional restriction might stem from the origin of the verb estar which has its historical roots in Latin stare, a true locative full verb, which could never be combined with a DP10 (for further explanations see also 6.3).
8

10

In principle ser is not possible with a locative PP: (i) * Ana es en Paris. Ana is in Paris. Constructions with subjects which encode events may be handled as exceptions: (i) El open de Australia es en Sydney. The Australian Open will take place in Sydney. (ii) El prximo mundial es en Alemania. The next world championship will take place in Germany. There are lexicalized exceptions like e.g. estar pez to swim/to have lost orientation (literally: be fish). Examples like ests hecha una reina / ests hecha una salvaje dont show predicative DPs of estar but of the periphrastic expression estar hecho to look like (you look like a queen / you look like a savage). The only alternative to use a DP like mdico in a copulative construction with estar is to change it into a PP using de, like in Juan est de mdico (Juan works as a doctor, cf. Fernndez Leborans 1999:2429). Latin stare either takes a locative (mostly PP) complement (see ii and iii) or expresses a manner of being, i.e. staying in an upright position. (i) lat. Hi stant ambo, non sedent. (Plautus, Capt. prol. 1 sq.)

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4.

The predication phrase (cf. Bowers 1993, 2001)

Larson (1988) proposes a complex VP-shell for verbal predication. This complex VP-shell originally was assumed to be present in transitive and unergative intransitive constructions, but missing in unaccusative constructions (see also Chomsky 1995). More recent work generalizes the VP-shell to all verbal predications (see e.g. Collins 1996, but also later work by Chomsky). We suppose that every predication, not just a verbal one, has a complex shell structure since we base our analysis on the so-called predication phrase, following a proposal by Bowers (1993, 2001). This predication phrase PrP represents a generalized form of the little vP of the VP-shell. The PrP is a functional category which abstracts away from the common phrasal categories. The marking of a PrP as verbal, adjectival, prepositional or nominal now appears as a minimalist feature on Pr, see the following representation in (15) from Bowers (1993: 595): (15)
PrP DP Pr X = {V,A,N,P} Pr' XP

Pr subcategorizes a phrase, whose category is specified by the categorial feature in Pr: In case of a verbal predication Pr has a V-feature, so that it can take only a verbal complement, i.e. a VP, see figure (16):

Both of them stand-STARE upright, they dont sit. (ii) lat. ..., quorum statuae steterunt in rostris. (Cicero; de or., 2, 86, 353) ...whose statues stood on the tribune. (iii) lat. ... qui domi stare non poterant. (Cicero; Fl., 6, 13) ... who couldnt stay at home. (all examples are taken from Pountain 1982:144 following Lewis, Charlton T. and Charles Short, 1879. A Latin Dictionary. Oxford: Clarendon).

To appear in: Maienborn, Claudia & Angelika Wllstein: Event Arguments in Syntax, Semantics, and Discourse. Tbingen: Niemeyer. 89-114.

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(16)
PrP DP John Pr V ate Pr Spec V VP V' YP Pr'

Vstrong an apple

In the Minimalist Program, categorial features can be strong or weak.11 In our English example (as also in Spanish) the verbal categorial feature in Pr is strong. This causes the verbal predicative head to move overtly to Pr and left-adjoin to it to check the strong Vfeature and thereby form the predication. As far as the categorial complement feature of Pr is concerned, only a V-feature in Pr can be strong, not an A-, D- or P-feature (at least in English and Spanish). This means that in the case of an adjectival, prepositional or nominal predication, there is no overt movement of the predicative head to Pr, as shown in figure (17):12 (17)
PrP DP John Pr X Spec X X = {A,D,P} XP = {insane, a fool, in the know} X' YP Pr' I consider John insane. a fool. in the know. XP

11

12

Our analysis, as said before, is cast in the minimalist framework of Chomsky (1995). In current minimalism (Chomsky 2000, 2001a/b) strong features are formally expressed by probing processes and the EPP ( head raising, according to Chomsky 2001a/b might be even part of the phonological component). In a recent minimalist approach proposed by Pesetsky & Torrego (in print) what we call a strong feature on a functional category is interpreted as a -interpretable feature in combination with EPP (seen as a subfeature of a feature by Pesetsky & Torrego). The English examples are taken from Bowers (2000:304).

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With a non-verbal Pr, the predicative head remains in situ. This property of non verbal Pr might be related to the more stative and less dynamic situation which is expressed by nonverbal predication. Verbs, which can be inherently classified by their Aktionsart (s. Vendler 1967), seem to need a stronger predicational head. Not only these mechanisms of movement, but also the name of Pr implies that this head establishes the predication. Following this basic view of Bowers13 we assume further that the PrP is also responsible for the aspectual-situative contour of the predication, i.e. that it contains an implicit event position in relation to its complement (s. also figure 24 in 5.2.1). Following a broader interpretation of Reichenbach (1947), cf. Giorgi & Pianesi (1997), we may assume that the PrP also encodes the relation between the event situation and the reference situation.14 The E/R-relation can be in part expressed by a T-feature of Pr (according to our view, the T feature also contains a temporal relation), which is of particular interest in present perfect and past perfect constructions (s. figure 18):15 (18)
TP Spec T 'T: S/R' Spec T' PrP Pr' Pr 'T: E/R' XP
present perfect: in T there is a T-feature with the value S=R in Pr there is a T-feature with the value E_R past perfect: in T there is a T-feature with the value S_R in Pr there is a T-feature with the value E_R

13

14

15

S. Bowers (1993:595): Pr is a functional category that has the following basic properties: (a) the canonical D-structure position for external arguments is [Spec, Pr] [...]; (b) Pr F-selects the maximal projection YP of any lexical category Y; (c) either PrP is F-selected by I, or it can be subcategorised as a complement by V; (d) the semantic function of Pr is predication. Reichenbachs time-reference system consists in the relative combination of the three elements speech time (S), reference time (R) and event time (E); Giorgi & Pianesi (1997), following Vikner (1985), suppose a system which is a combination of (at least) two independent relations, the relation between S and R and the relation between R and E. We prefer to speak of situations referring to the entities encoded by S, R, and E (instead of times or, even more misleading, time points). The notation X_Y expresses the relation "X before Y", the notation X=Y expresses the relation "X simultaneous to Y"; we do not distinguish between coextension and inclusion in the latter case although this might be necessary, at least for the English tense system. Also, the terms "present perfect" and "present past" are used here in a language neutral sense (i.e. in no direct relationship to the particular characteristics of the English composed tenses). This is an important fact for languages which show auxiliary selection, like e.g. Italian: We assume, following Remberger (2002), that in the case of auxiliary selection there is a strong Tfeature in Pr, which has to be checked overtly by the insertion of a compatible auxiliary verb, i.e. BE or HAVE.

To appear in: Maienborn, Claudia & Angelika Wllstein: Event Arguments in Syntax, Semantics, and Discourse. Tbingen: Niemeyer. 89-114.

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After the introduction of the PrP we can now go on to analyze the structural position of the copulas ser and estar in section 5.

5.

The structural position of the copula

5.1. Ser In the previous paragraph, we have introduced Pr and the structure of non-verbal predication, as exemplified in the Small Clause (SC) examples in (17) above. Also copula constructions can be considered to contain typical non verbal SCs. In the context of Pr we now need to explain the nature and structural position of the copula, beginning with the common copula BE. A current assumption (cf. e.g. Ouhalla 1991) is that the copula BE is inserted in the derivation by Merge under T. As for the Romance languages, it is further commonly assumed (cf. Mensching 2003) that T contains a strong V-feature. Therefore, the copula, ser in Spanish, can be understood as a default verb which deletes the strong V-feature to rescue the derivation, if there is no other (purely16) verbal element in the derivation which could do the checking. The data following under 5.1.1 can be taken as a confirmation for the assumption that ser is merged directly under T. 5.1.1 Ser/BE under T One argument which supports the hypothesis that BE is inserted by Merge under T comes from Spanish itself: Spanish Small Clauses, like the ones selected by the verb considerar to consider, are assumed to lack a T-projection.17 Therefore they can never appear with the copula: (19) Juan considera inteligente a Ana.18 John considers Ana intelligent. [ILP] [ILP]

(20) * Juan considera ser inteligente a Ana. John considers BE Ana intelligent.

16

17 18

Participles, for examples, are not purely verbal, but have an additional [+N]-feature (especially in Romance, they can show nominal agreement) which brings them in a closer relation to adjectives which also have [+V,+N,-F] (F for functional, see Radford 1997: 66). As it is well-known, facts are different in English. Inteligente cant be a secondary predicate here since it is not optional in this sentence, i.e. it cant be omitted: (i) *Juan considera a Ana.

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The second argument comes from languages which can leave the copula unexpressed, i.e. which are allowed to generate full sentences without obligatorily completing it with a verbal form. These languages (e.g. Arabic, Russian, Latin) have a copula which appears obligatorily in dependency of the value of T. For the sake of readability, we have chosen the following examples from Maltese19 (which stands close to the Arabic dialects typologically but is considered a language on its own from a sociocultural view20): (21) din it-tuffiea amra. this the-apple red This apple is red. il-biera it-tuffiea kienet adra. yesterday the-apple was green Yesterday the apple was green. [T: PRESENT]

(22)

[T: PAST]

In (21), the derivation does not contain a verb. This is possible, since Maltese disposes of a T without a V-feature, namely the T, which encodes the unmarked tense S=R (& R=E), i.e. the present tense.21 As for (22), it is not possible to have a verbless derivation since this T is not unmarked, but has the marked meaning PAST, i.e. R_S (& R=E). A T with this marked content is required to have a V-feature in Maltese, too, and this feature needs to be checked by a verbal element, i.e. the copula. In the case of Maltese, it is clear that the presence or absence of a copula depends on the properties of T; therefore, the copula can be assumed to be inserted by Merge only after a T with a particular feature composition is introduced into the derivation. 5.1.2 Ser: Syntactic derivation

So far we have established the syntactic status of the common copula BE as a mere verbal auxiliary. The syntactic structure of a derivation containing the common copula ser in Spanish following the framework outlined above is shown in figure (23):

19 20

21

Thanks to Gustav Vella for his help with the Maltese examples. See Fabri (2001:47): It has often been a matter of discussion whether Maltese should be considered a language of its own right or whether it is better seen as a dialect of Arabic. There are at least two reasons why Maltese should be given the status [of] a language in its own right rather than a dialect. First, there is a rich variety of literary works written in Maltese, which, by the way, to my knowledge is the only Arabic language that uses a Latin script. Second, the diglossic situation that is typical of Arabic on the mainland, where Standard Arabic co-exists with the local variety (Egyptian, Libyan, Moroccan, etc.), does not exist in Malta. This implies that Maltese has acquired a significantly different status from other Arabic dialects. Unlike Giorgi & Pianesi (1997), we assume that a TP is always projected in a tensed sentence, even in the unmarked (= default) cases.

To appear in: Maienborn, Claudia & Angelika Wllstein: Event Arguments in Syntax, Semantics, and Discourse. Tbingen: Niemeyer. 89-114.

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(23)
TP Spec 'Ana' T V 'es' T T Dstrong Vstrong ... Spec Pr Pr A ... T' PrP Pr' AP A 'inteligente' YP

T has a strong V-feature; therefore the copula is inserted under T by default since, at this point, there is no other V in the derivation which could check the strong V-feature. Apart from the strong V-feature, T has a strong D-feature which is responsible for the raising of the subject to [Spec TP] (to satisfy the EPP). Thus, the Spanish copula ser is a pure auxiliary verb and does not contribute semantic content to the predication. Rather, it is a last resort element, which provides the derivation with a verbal feature wherever needed. Also, as far as the tense properties of the derivation are concerned, it is not the auxiliary which contributes to its temporal interpretation. Temporal interpretation is encoded in T and Pr, and therefore the copula ser in Spanish cannot be anything but a reflection of the presence of a particular T (as in the Maltese example 22). 5.2. Estar Note that it is a language-specific property of Spanish to have a second copula available. This copula estar is marked in contrast to the common copula ser because it contains special semantic-aspectual information: The appearance of estar as the copula signals a specific reference situation (SLP-properties) (cf. Maienborn 2001, Mejas-Bikandi 1993).22
22

For specificity as a semantic category, see Heusinger (1999). The special semantic-aspectual information introduced by estar (and similar verbs in other languages) is represented in various ways by other researchers: Clancy Clements (1988): [Nexus] Maienborn (2001, 2003, 2005): specific vs. arbitrary discourse situation Klein (1994): Topic Time talked about / some other possible topic time Remberger (2002): R (existentially quantified reference time) / GenR (Generic reference time) The classification of Lujn (1981) as perfective for the use of ser / estar respectively is controversial: A SLP does not necessarily encode a perfective resultant state. It is possible to give an explanation without having to refer to perfectivity by using the existential vs. generic

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This property is expected to be realized inside the predication phrase PrP (see the representation (24), which will be further explained in the following section 5.2.1). 5.2.1 Event situation and reference situation in syntax

The logico-semantic content23 of Pr in correlation to T was described in section 4 and especially figure (18). In figure (24), we will now give an overview to the logical meaning of the functional categories of the derivation in relation to their complements: (24)
CP C Spec illocution T 'S/R' Spec proposition Pr 'R/E' Spec predication X reference situation predicative YP TP T' PrP Pr' XP X' event situation speech situation

The predicative XP fills the event position made available by Pr; the predication formed by the PrP makes it possible to link the event situation E to a reference situation. If there is a T in the enumeration, it can take the predicational PrP as its complement, creating the linkage between the two temporal relations E/R and S/R. At last, it is necessary to anchor
distinction. If an ILP is interpreted as encoding a generic reference situation it can enclose an SLP interpretation, i.e. a specific reference situation for the predication, s. (i). But it does not necessarily need to enclose it, see (ii) and (iii) (the examples are given by Lujn herself): (i) Ana est hermosa porque es hermosa. (Lujn 1981:173) (ii) Juan esta muy alegre, pero no ES alegre. (Lujn 1981:174) (iii) No est loco, ES loco. (Lujn 1981:180) As opposed to the lexical semantic content of lexical categories.

23

To appear in: Maienborn, Claudia & Angelika Wllstein: Event Arguments in Syntax, Semantics, and Discourse. Tbingen: Niemeyer. 89-114.

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the proposition in the speech context (S), either directly via the own clauses C (if there is one) or indirectly via the CP of a matrix clause (cf. Stowell 1982, En 1987). The CP encodes the illocution, i.e. the various possibilities of embedding a proposition in a particular speech situation (s. Rizzi 1997 among others). The following enumeration may serve as a legend to (24): Event situation (E): event time (Reichenbach 1947) / event argument (Davidson 1967) / eventuality (Parsons 1995)/ situation; lexically specified by the Aktionsarten => processes, events, (stative and situative) states (s. Maienborn 2001) and syntactically specified by aspect; Reference situation (R): reference time (Reichenbach 1947) / assertion time (Demirdache & Uribe-Etxebarria 2000) / topic time (cf. Klein 1994) / topic situation / discourse situation (Maienborn 2001); Speech situation (S): Speech time (Reichenbach 1947) / Speech context / deixis; Predicative: specifies the structural qualities of the event situation by its inherent lexical meaning (e.g. by argument selection, Aktionsarten, cf. Vendler 1967); Predication: introduces R in the derivation, specifies the relation between E and R; anchors the relations between qualities and object or circumstances respectively in the discourse situation R; Proposition: results in the meaning of the derivation in its neutral sense, i.e. which is valuable by its truth values; specifies the relation between R and S; Illocution: specifies the performative meaning of the proposition in the pragmatic context of speech;

The exact semantic structure of a state z (cf. Maienborn 2001)24 or of a Davidsonian event e (Parsons 1995, 2000)25 are not particularly relevant to our analysis of the marked copula estar. Contrary to Kratzer (1995), we proceed from the assumption that an event situation may enclose both, states and events: Although states may have other relational structures than events or even processes, we will ascribe to them an argumenthood since their qualities belong to the event situation of a predication. Estar, then, is the visible grammatical reflection of a particular kind of E/R relation, namely a relation which focuses on a specific reference situation in which the event situation is anchored. This is the reason why a semantic excursion was necessary to locate
24

25

According to Maienborn (2001:132), the logical form of ser and estar is: ser: P x z [z [P(x)]] estar: P x z [z [P(x] / [si | R(z, si )] ] According to Parsons (2000:85), the logical form of BE is: BE: P x e (P(e) & IN(x,e))

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the particular meaning of copula estar in the logical context of the relevant functional categories. 5.2.2 Estar: Syntactic derivation

If a speaker intends to produce an utterance which encodes a specific reference situation, he will chose a particular Pr-head: This Pr has a feature which establishes that the predication of the event situation expressed is focused at a specific reference situation, giving an SLP interpretation. Apriori, such a feature in Pr could be available to speakers of German and English, too. But neither German nor English need to indicate the presence of such a feature by the insertion of a special copula, like Spanish estar. In German and English, the SLP interpretation is achieved by the semantic composition of the derivation or by semantic readjustment in particular pragmatic contexts (see 1). In Spanish on the other hand, we have a syntactic mechanism, the insertion of estar: This means that the Spanish Pr, which encodes a specific reference situation, must have a particular feature composition which triggers this insertion. Therefore, we will assume that Pr [R/E specific] has an additional strong V-feature so that we obtain the following syntactic derivation: (25)
TP

Spec 'Ana' T

T' PrP

Pr

Spec

Pr'

V 'est'

Pr

T Dstrong Vstrong ...

Pr

AP

Pr

A 'borracha'

YP

Pr A Vstrong R/E specific ...

We assume that a Spanish Pr-head which encodes the information of a specific reference situation (SLP-properties) always carries a strong V-feature. To check this strong V-feature, the insertion of a compatible copulative verb (estar) is required in those cases when there is

To appear in: Maienborn, Claudia & Angelika Wllstein: Event Arguments in Syntax, Semantics, and Discourse. Tbingen: Niemeyer. 89-114.

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no other verb in the derivation at this point.26 Later movement of estar to T is obligatory because of the commonly assumed strong V-feature of Spanish finite T.

6.

The systematisation

Starting from the Pr with a specific reference situation we will now have a look at the feature composition of the other possible lexical entries for Pr in Spanish in order to attain a more systematic description. 6.1. Strong V-feature in Pr To sum up our characterization of Spanish Pr with regard to the topic of this paper: In Spanish, there are two reasons for a strong V-feature in Pr: A B The complement of Pr is a VP (see figure 16); this means, that Vstrong is contained in Pr as a categorial feature for selectional reasons. The predication phrase encodes a specific reference situation; the information [R/E specific] in Pr is always combined with Vstrong.

26

It is an open question whether estar is already present in the numeration or if it is just a reflex of a certain feature configuration on PF. Since this is a question concerning all auxiliary and expletive elements, we cant discuss it in the context of this article.

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6.2. Feature composition of Pr in Spanish Table (26) sums up the feature composition of verbal and non-verbal Pr in the Spanish lexicon:27 (26) complement of Pr VP AP DP PP ILP [Pr, Vstrong, ] [Pr, A, ] [Pr, D, ] [Pr, P, ] SLP [Pr, Vstrong, RefSitspecific, ] [Pr, A, Vstrong, RefSitspecific, ] *[Pr, D, Vstrong, RefSitspecific, ] [Pr, P, Vstrong, RefSitspecific, ]

The analysis of estar and its strict correspondence to a SLP interpretation can now be transferred to other possible complements of Pr. 6.3. Transfer of the result to other complements of Pr Figure (27) illustrates how our analysis can be transferred to other complements of Pr. For each complement, the feature composition of Pr and the available readings are given, along with an example. Not surprisingly, the RefSitspec feature appears in Pr whenever we have an SLP. This feature in Pr is basically the translation of the concept of an SLP into a feature. So, stating that Pr bears an RefSitspec is not different from saying that the predication is a stage level one. Its absence indicates the ILP-reading. The strong V-feature is also associated with Pr if the predication is an SLP. In ILPs we do not have a strong V-feature in Pr. This ensures that estar is inserted by Merge under Pr in SLP, whereas in ILPs no auxiliary, copula or other verb form has to be present. In this latter case, a verb will only be necessary when the derivation reaches T because only there do we have a strong V-feature in Spanish. As no verb moves to T to check the strong feature in a non-verbal predication, the default ser will have to be introduced into the derivation as a last resort. As an illustration consider (27c) and (27d): In (27c), we have an AP as the complement phrase of Pr. There is no verb, because there is no VP. As the predication in this case is specific for the reference situation we have a strong V-feature in Pr. This forces a V to move into Pr. As there is no verb in the PrP, a verb will have to be introduced in order to prevent the derivation from crashing. In Spanish, there is exactly one verb which is suitable
27

This overview resembles Pesetsky & Torregos proposal of a generalized lower To, which also has a time relating function, in combination with a general category PR, which can take the morphological shape of the syntactic categories V, N or A, depending on the properties of To (see Pesetsky & Torrego in print: 40-44). They also consider the possibility (in fn. 30) that To (both verbal and nominal) is not a distinct head at all, but [...] a set of features of PR. Their approach, which offers a new interpretation of the theory of Case in the light of the syntax of tense, might be partially integrated in our work in future research.

To appear in: Maienborn, Claudia & Angelika Wllstein: Event Arguments in Syntax, Semantics, and Discourse. Tbingen: Niemeyer. 89-114.

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in this case: copula estar, which is a verb and relates to a specific reference situation. Once we introduce estar into the derivation, it will check the mentioned features in Pr and raise to T to check the strong V-feature. Thus, we get Ana est borracha with an SLP reading. In (27d), the complement of Pr is an AP again. This time, however, there is no strong V-feature in Pr: it is neither required by a VP-complement of Pr, nor by a specific reference situation. There is no verb that can move to Pr, but neither is there any need to introduce estar at this point. It is only when we get to the T that a verb has to be introduced in the derivation in order to check the strong V-feature of T. In this case, ser will be introduced as the default. As a result Ana es inteligente is derived with the expected ILP reading. (27)
complement of Pr SLP/ILP Vstrong? RefSitspecific? SLP VP ILP SLP AP ILP d) Vstrong RefSitspecific e) (f) Vstrong RefSitspecific g) (h) Vstrong Vstrong RefSitspecific b) c) Vstrong RefSitspecific a) examples Jan comi una manzana.
Juan ate an apple.

Juan sabe ingls.


Juan knows English.

Ana est borracha.


Ana is-ESTAR drunk.

Ana es inteligente.
Ana is-SER intelligent.

Pr
DP

*SLP ILP SLP PP ILP

*Ana est mdico.


Ana is-ESTAR a doctor.

Ana es mdico.
Ana is-SER a doctor.

Juan est del lado de los pobres.


Juan is-ESTAR on the part of the poor.

El reloj es de oro.
The watch is-SER made of gold.

Still, there are two interesting cases, namely (27b) and (27e). Why do we have a Vstrong in Pr in (27b)? Speaking English is an individual level predicate about Juan. So why should there be any strong V-feature in Pr? The reason is quite simply that in (27a) and (27b), the complement of Pr is a VP. In both cases we have a verb V which has to move to Pr because of its strong V-feature. Recall that this categorial feature is needed for selectional reasons (i.e. in order to select a VP as complement). The second interesting case is (27e). Why should it be ungrammatical? Due to the presence of a RefSitspec-feature in Pr, there also is a strong V-feature and a SLP interpretation. So what is wrong with the structure? At first sight, it seems surprising that there are no DP-complements of Pr which show SLP-properties. But this gap in our system is motivated semantically: DPs and APs both designate properties of sets of individuals. However, predications of DPs furthermore only designate properties of sets of

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individuals which are temporally stable. Therefore they cant display SLP-properties, see the following examples from German: (28) (29) Der Schwiegersohn ist Angestellter. The son-in-law is employee. Der Schwiegersohn ist angestellt. The son-in-law is employed. [ILP] [SLP]

One would expect the characteristics of APs and DPs to be in complementary distribution, i.e., we expect APs only to show SLP-properties and DPs to show ILP-properties. It is a moot point whether there are in fact languages in which this complementary distribution is strictly realized.28

7.

Other phenomena

In this section we will present some phenomena which are related to estar and the SLP/ILP distinction but cannot be analysed thoroughly in this article. 7.1. Estar + PP: The syntactic difference between main verb and copula In the present analysis, we deal with estar as a copula. There is also a main verb estar but it has to be distinguished from the former (cf. the distinction of estar predicativo vs. estar atributivo, i.e. the copula, in Fernndez Leborans 1999: 2421-5). (30) a. *Juan est en Pars y a m tambin me encantara estarlo. Juan is-ESTAR in Paris and I would like to be-ESTAR it too. (31) a. Juan est del lado de los pobres y a m tambin me gustara estarlo. Juan is-ESTAR on the part of the poor and I would like to be-ESTAR it, too. In (30), estar shows characteristics of a main verb. The locative PP cannot be resumed by the neutral clitic lo, which is an invariable pro-form for predicates only. 7.2. Small Clauses Small Clauses can be assumed to be PrPs (cf. Bowers 1993, 2001). Thus, when a Small Clause ever should have SLP-properties, then a strong V-feature in Pr triggers the
28

Thanks to Jrgen Lenerz for precious hints in this regard.

To appear in: Maienborn, Claudia & Angelika Wllstein: Event Arguments in Syntax, Semantics, and Discourse. Tbingen: Niemeyer. 89-114.

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presence of estar (or a full verb). A strong V-feature is only contained in the two cases mentioned above: Either the complement of Pr is a VP (which is impossible for Small Clauses), or a specific R/E-feature is encoded in Pr. Since estar never shows up in SmallClause-constructions, an SLP-interpretation of Small Clauses is impossible, see the following example: (32) Juan considera lista a Ana. Juan considers Ana smart/*ready. [ILP]

Lista is ambiguous. It can mean smart or ready. In the first case, we have an ILP whereas the second sentence is only interpretable as an SLP. In (32), only smart can be the intended meaning and not ready. This is exactly predicted by our analysis. 7.3. Constructions without copula: Absolute constructions So called absolute constructions (construcciones absolutas, cf. Hernanz Carb 1999: 2541) without a copula only have SLP-properties. In (33), there is no copula and we get an SLP reading. If we try to do the same with inteligente (intelligent), the result turns out to be ungrammatical, as (34) shows. It shows that the absence of a copula rules out the ILPinterpretation. (33) Lista ya Ana para ir a la pera, decidi asistir a la fiesta. Ana was ready to go to the opera, when she decided to got to the party. [SLP] [ILP]

(34) * Inteligente Juan, sabe muchas lenguas. Since Juan is intelligent, he knows many languages.

Absolute constructions are far too complex to be treated here exhaustively. Nevertheless, their SLP property might give precious hints to the analysis of estar.29 7.4. Constructions with the gerund The following (progressive) construction with the Spanish gerund contains a verbal predication, which expresses a specific reference situation. (35) Juan est comiendo manzanas. Juan is eating apples. [SLP]

29

One of our reviewers considers the following examples to be grammatical. However, if they are accepted at all they are considered heavily marked. (i) rpido/vivo/precoz el nio, fingi tener tos para irse a casa. clever/astute/precocious the child, pretended have cough to go-REFL to home Being clever, the child pretended to have a cough in order to go home.

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Although the gerund represents a verbal form which could in principle check and delete the strong V-feature in Pr, the copula estar is used. This might be due to the morphological form of the gerund itself 30 since this form seems to be able to express imperfectivity, but not a specific reference situation (cf. Squartini 1998, Bertinetto & Delfitto 1996). This is the reason for the insertion of the marked copula estar,31 while the strong V-feature is irrelevant here. 7.5. Event passive vs. state passive? It is important to distinguish the passive from the copula construction. Ser is not only the copula form used in ILPs but also the auxiliary in passive sentences. (36) (37) Las tesis fueron clavadas a la puerta (por Lutero). The theses were-SER nailed on the door (by Luther). Las tesis estaban clavadas a la puerta (*por Lutero). The theses were-ESTAR nailed on the door (*by Luther).

The example in (36) is a true passive and not a copulative structure. Here, ser has nothing to do with the distinction between the ILP- and SLP-interpretation. The example in (37), on the contrary, cannot be interpreted as a true passive, i.e. a passive which results in a state, since the subject cannot be reactivated by a por-adjunct.

8.

Generic interpretation vs. existential interpretation

In this context, we would like to introduce a further aspect, which seems to have some relevance in respect to the SLP/ILP-distinction: The (im-)possibility to interpret a so-called bare noun phrase (BNP), i.e. a plural noun phrase which lacks a determiner (in English), in two semantically and logically different ways: A bare noun phrase can be interpreted as either generically or existentially quantified, depending on the LF-interpretation of its syntactic position. As proposed by Diesing (1992), one can assume that an existentially quanti
30 31

See also what was said in fn. 16 for participles. Ser is never possible with the gerund in Spanish, irrespective of SLP/ILP-properties: (i) *soy sabiendo (ii) *soy comiendo A gerund has to be either selected by a Pr with specific reference time, or used in an absolute construction or secondary predication. In the latter cases, the tense structure is always controlled by the matrix clause, i.e. Pr, T (and mostly also C) are partially underspecified or indefinite. Apart from the Pr with specific reference time, a gerund can be combined only with these underspecified (or defective) functional categories.

To appear in: Maienborn, Claudia & Angelika Wllstein: Event Arguments in Syntax, Semantics, and Discourse. Tbingen: Niemeyer. 89-114.

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fied BNP is logically interpreted inside the VP (here PrP) whereas a generically quantified BNP is interpreted in [Spec TP].32 Diesings mapping hypothesis concerning the generic vs. existential interpretation of BNP is illustrated in figure (38) (following Kornack 1998: 11, Diesing 1992: 20/1): (38)
TP Spec T' T Spec PrP Pr' Pr XP

Gen

There is a correlation between the two modes of quantification and the SLP vs. ILP properties, see the following examples. (39) shows a BNP subject with a prototypical SLP predicate whereas in (40) the BNP subject is combined with a typical ILP predicate: (39) Firemen are available. a. Gen [fireman(x) available(x)] b. x (fireman(x) & available(x)) (40) Firemen are intelligent. a. Gen [fireman(x) intelligent(x)] b. * x (fireman(x) & intelligent(x)) [SLP] [generic interpretation] [existential interpretation] [ILP] [generic interpretation] [existential interpretation]

These examples illustrate that both SLP and ILP allow a generic interpretation. The difference lies in the existential interpretation: BNPs can only be interpreted as existential (i.e. as located in [Spec PrP] on LF), if the derivation contains a SLP-predication as in (39). However, an existential interpretation of an ILP-predication is excluded. An ILP forces a generic quantification of the BNP (as in (40a)).33 To come back to Spanish copulative constructions, we can translate the English BNPs in a corresponding Spanish indefinite DP (i.e. the English BNP firemen becomes un bombero a fireman in Spanish):
32

33

To be exact, Diesing assumes that the generically interpreted BNP is also base generated in [SpecTP] whereas the existentially interpreted BNP is base generated in [SpecVP] and moved to [SpecTP] later on. See also Chierchia (1995); the discussion of this phenomenon goes back to Milsark (1974), see also Ladusaw (1994).

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(41) (42) (43)

Un bombero fireman

est disponible.34 is-ESTAR available (siempre) disponible. (always) available inteligente. intelligent

[SLP, existential interpretation] [SLP, generic interpretation] [ILP, generic interpretation] [ILP, existential interpretation] [SLP, existential interpretation] [ILP, existential interpretation]

Un bombero est fireman is-ESTAR Un bombero es fireman is-SER

(44) * Un bombero es inteligente.35 fireman is-SER intelligent (45) Est un bombero disponible.36 here is-ESTAR a fireman available

(46) * Es un bombero inteligente.37 here is-SER a fireman intelligent

As the examples show, in Spanish, as in English, only in SLP-predications are there both possibilities to interpret the ambiguous DP. In ILP-predications, on the other hand, the existential interpretation is not allowed. In fact, only with the copula estar is it possible to have a postverbal indefinite DP, i.e. an SLP interpretation inside the PrP, in Spanish (see (45) vs. (46)). To sum up, we offer the following generalization about the syntactic position of estar and the existential interpretation of the noun phrase under discussion: An interpretation of the DP in [Spec PrP] is only possible if the reference situation in Pr is encoded as specific a fact which is visible in Spanish by the appearance of the copula estar.

9.

Summary

We proposed a syntactic analysis for the ser/estar alternation in Spanish copula constructions that correlates with the SLP/ILP distinction. In our analysis, ser and estar each serve a syntactic default strategy (last resort). In the case of SLP, the specific reference situation causes a strong V-feature to be present in Pr; if there is no verb in the numeration to check this feature, estar is introduced as a default verb under Pr. The strong V-feature in
34

35 36 37

In Spanish (as in German), one could interpret the indefinite article un as a cardinal number. This would result in a third possibility of interpretation (one of more); we will not consider this third interpretation here. This sentence might be acceptable in a context which interprets un as a cardinal number, s. fn. 34. This example is heavily marked, but not ungrammatical. This example should not be interpreted as [pro es [un bombero inteligente]] here.

To appear in: Maienborn, Claudia & Angelika Wllstein: Event Arguments in Syntax, Semantics, and Discourse. Tbingen: Niemeyer. 89-114.

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Spanish T then forces estar to move on to T. In the case of ILP, i.e. if there is no specific reference situation, a default verb need not be introduced under Pr as no strong V-feature has to be checked there. In a non-verbal predication, only the strong V-feature of T needs to be checked, and as there is no other verb in the derivation that could move there, this is where the copula ser is introduced as a default verb.

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8 Bertinetto, P.M. 108 Bowers, J. 89, 94, 95, 96, 107 Carlson, G. 90 Chierchia, G. 90, 110 Chomsky, N. 89, 94, 95 Clancy Clements, J. 90, 100 Collins, C. 94 Davidson, D. 89, 102 Delfitto, D. 108 Demirdache, H. 89, 102 Demonte, V. 92 Diesing, M. 89, 90, 109 En, M. 101 Fabri, R. 98 Fernndez Leborans, M.J. 90, 93, 94, 107 Giorgi, A. 89, 96, 99 Hernanz Carb, M.L. 108 Heusinger, K.von. 100 Klein, W. 100, 102 Kornack, T.W. 90, 109 Kratzer, A. 89, 90, 102 Ladusaw, W. 90, 110 Larson, R.K. 89, 94

Lujn, M. 90, 100 Maienborn, C. 89, 90, 91, 100, 102 Mejas-Bikandi , E. 90, 100 Mensching, G. 97 Milsark, G. 90, 110 Ouhalla, J. 97 Parsons, T. 102 Pesetsky, D. 95, 104 Pianesi, F. 89, 96, 99 Pountain, Ch. 94 Radford, A. 98 Raposo, E. 90 Reichenbach, H. 89, 96, 102 Remberger, E.-M. 97, 100 Rizzi, L. 101 Sasse, H.-J. 90 Squartini, M. 108 Stowell, T. 101 Torrego, E. 96, 104 Uriagereka, J. 90 Uribe-Etxebarria, M. 89, 102 Vendler, Z. 91, 96, 102 Vikner, S. 89, 96