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Revista signos

versión On-line ISSN 0718-0934

Resumen

HOLTHEUER, Carolina. The distribution of ser and estar with adjectives: A critical survey. Rev. signos [online]. 2011, vol.44, n.75, pp. 33-47. ISSN 0718-0934.  http://dx.doi.org/10.4067/S0718-09342011000100004.

Explaining the distribution of the two Spanish copulas, ser and estar, is still a challenge in current linguistic theory. The aim of the present paper is to provide a critical synthesis and comparison of some of the most influential theoretical proposals that have been put forward to account for the complex distribution of ser and estar with adjectives. First, a general description of the distribution and interpretation of the two Spanish copulas is provided. Then, after showing the inadequacy of the traditional account that views ser and estar as the permanent and temporal copulas respectively, the different semantic, aspectual, semantic-syntactic and pragmatic approaches to explaining their distribution are reviewed. It is observed that most of the recent analyses converge on the following: (i) ser is more flexible than estar in temporal terms, and (ii) ser is independent from the discursive context while estar is always linked to discourse.

Palabras llave : Copulas; syntax; semantics; pragmatics; aspect.

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