Articles producció científica> Estudis Anglesos i Alemanys

Generic and action-dependent abilities in Spanish 'Be capable'

  • Identification data

    Identifier: imarina:5131540
  • Authors:

    Castroviejo, Elena
    Oltra-Massuet, Isabel
  • Others:

    Author, as appears in the article.: Castroviejo, Elena; Oltra-Massuet, Isabel;
    Department: Estudis Anglesos i Alemanys
    URV's Author/s: Oltra Massuet, Maria Isabel
    Keywords: Teoría lingüística Semántica
    Abstract: This paper is concerned with the semantics of Spanish ser capaz 'be capable' (henceforth SC). Specifically, it aims to account for the distribution SC displays and the range of meanings it expresses in the realm of abilities, viewed as kinds of dispositions. We put forth the following generalization: Whenever imperfective aspect interacts with SC, two possible readings arise, one that is purely abilitative and another one that expresses an accidental or unpredictable state of affairs. Our claim is that both interpretations derive from a circumstantial modal base that includes the subject's inner circumstances, albeit with a different ordering source that is brought about via the interaction of imperfective aspect and the syntax-semantics of the modal. Thus, we propose that the purely abilitative SC contains an ordering source that ranks as better worlds those in which the subject appeals to her strength of the body, intellect or character; the accidental reading is the result of covert movement of the adjective capaz 'capable' over the imperfective-bearing copula ser 'be', which triggers a change of ordering source in the modal.
    Thematic Areas: Linguistics and language Linguistics Language and linguistics Language & linguistics Filologia, lingüística i sociolingüística
    ISSN: 23971835
    Author's mail:
    Author identifier: 0000-0003-2802-3856
    Record's date: 2023-02-22
    Papper version: info:eu-repo/semantics/publishedVersion
    Link to the original source:
    Licence document URL:
    Papper original source: Glossa. An Ambilingual Interdisciplinary Journal. 3 (1):
    APA: Castroviejo, Elena; Oltra-Massuet, Isabel; (2018). Generic and action-dependent abilities in Spanish 'Be capable'. Glossa. An Ambilingual Interdisciplinary Journal, 3(1), -. DOI: 10.5334/gjgl.495
    Article's DOI: 10.5334/gjgl.495
    Entity: Universitat Rovira i Virgili
    Journal publication year: 2018
    Publication Type: Journal Publications
  • Keywords:

    Language & Linguistics,Linguistics,Linguistics and Language
    Teoría lingüística
    Linguistics and language
    Language and linguistics
    Language & linguistics
    Filologia, lingüística i sociolingüística
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