Karen Zagona University of Washington, Seattle

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The alternation between Spanish copular ser and estar is generally argued to follow from semantics factors, either (i) individual/stage readings of the predicate, or (ii) perfective/imperfective temporal properties of the predicate; the syntactic distribution of each copula is assumed to follow from semantic properties. This study argues that an uninterpretable feature, [uP], is responsible for the complements of estar (PPs and Aspect Phrases) and for the contexts in which the predicate is temporally delimited. It is argued that this analysis explains exceptions to the temporal generalization, and accounts for the distribution of estar in its copular and auxiliary uses.

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