Spanish adjectival passives with a progressive reading



This paper addresses Spanish adjectival passives with estar showing a progressive reading. In the previous literature, it has been acknowledged that the participles of verbs encoding non-dynamic events, such as vigilar ‘guard’, give rise to a progressive reading when embedded in adjectival passives. Yet, we have identified another group of verbs, those of the type of perseguir ‘chase’, which denote dynamic atelic events (i.e., activities) and whose participles are also attested in estar-passives with a progressive denotation. This is a very significant finding, since it is commonly assumed that only participles of verbs including a stative component in their event structure (i.e., telic or stative verbs) can be part of adjectival passives. After comparing the behaviour of these two types of verbs, we propose that they share a relational layer that in the case of vigilar-verbs defines an event as non-dynamic and in the case of perseguir-verbs defines a motion event as continuously maintained. This relational layer, which constitutes the stative component needed for the adjectival passive construction to be possible, accounts for the necessary atelicity of these two verbal classes (which cannot be telicized under any circumstances) and for the progressive reading obtained in their adjectival passives.


adjectival passives, stativity, eventivity, dynamicity, Spanish


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Author Biographies

Elisabeth Gibert-Sotelo, Universitat Rovira i Virgili

Department of Catalan Studies

Juan de la Cierva Postdoctoral Researcher

Rafael Marín, CNRS & Université de Lille

UMR 8163

CNRS Researcher




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