Spanish Aspectual Adverbials


Krifka (2001), based on Löbner (1989), proposes a crosslinguistic account of aspectual adverbials. We consider Spanish todavía ‘still’, ya ‘already’ and aún ‘still’ and discuss some challenges Spanish raises for Löbner/Krifka. Krifka (2001) discusses temporal uses in terms of presuppositions and assertions: e.g. still P asserts that $P$ holds at $t$ and presupposes that there is a time $t'$ immediately preceding $t$ where $P(t')$ (he is still sleeping). The model can be extended to other scales (the scale is distance in San Diego is still in the US) (Beck 2016).

Ya. Debelcque&Maldonado (2011) discuss ya. They present ya as a pragmatic anchor, grounding the eventuality with respect to time and movement across a ‘dynamic programmatic base’. We argue that our alternative account is more defined and offers specific predictions. First, we claim that ya can appear with covert predicates P, and is consistent with Löbner/Krifka. This accounts for Había tortillas, frijoles, y ya ‘There were tortillas, beans and that was all’, where P is era todo ‘that was all’. Covert predicates also account for the meaning variation when only ya is the overt (e.g. ¿Ya?). Second, we discuss examples where ya is equivalent to clause-final occurrences of already, a modal use (Hay que harcerlo ya ‘It must be done already’). We also discuss the approach of Curco&Erdely (2016).

Todavía, aún. We argue that these adverbials are not synonymous. Todavía is scalar like still, while aún is additive. Additivity permits the concessive interpretation that is also available for aunque (cf. additive particles in Hindi concessives).

1 Nov 2019 11.00 AM — 11.30 AM
Louisiana State University, Baton Rouge
Benjamin Slade
Benjamin Slade
Associate Professor of Linguistics

My research interests include formal semantics and syntax, historical linguistics, South Asian and Caribbean languages, and the use of computational concepts in formal linguistics.