Temporal prepositions and intervals in Spanish. Variation in the grammar of "hasta" and "desde"


  • Ignacio Bosque Universidad Complutense, Madrid
  • Ana Bravo Universidad de Murcia


In many varieties of American Spanish, the temporal preposition hasta 'until' is able to modify telic predicates in the absence of negation. Previous analyses argue for either a hidden negation or a special punctual reading of this preposition. We show that these analyses make a number of wrong predictions, and should be abandoned. Our account hinges on the idea that hasta licenses a temporal phase previous to the telic predicate, somehow similar to the one that in PP complements (in one hour) create in English and many other languages in similar structures. We also show that desde (‘since’) is able to behave in a parallel way in some varieties of American Spanish, thus licensing intervals subsequent to temporal points. Several arguments are presented favoring compositional analyses of these (and some other) temporal prepositions subject to Aktionsart restrictions, as opposed to approaches which introduce multiplication of senses.


prepositions, aspect, negation, intervals, American Spanish.


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Author Biography

Ignacio Bosque, Universidad Complutense, Madrid

Prof. of Spanish Linguistics

Departamento de Lengua Española, Teoría de la Literatura y Literatura Comparada




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