Negative imperatives with Spanish copulas ser y estar

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This chapter analyzes a number of predicates with Spanish ser and estar which may occur in the imperative: behavior predicates, controlled states, and emotional predicates. The imperative mood is usually related to action and, therefore, it would seem somewhat strange to think of constructions where this mood could combine with prototypical copular verbs such as ser and estar, initially conceived as stative. More precisely, this paper focuses on the negative imperative, which is expressed in Spanish through the adverb no + the subjunctive mood when appearing in specific discourse situations. Both the occurrence of negation and that of the subjunctive lead to take into account the information structure, which in fact reveals decisive data about the nature and behavior of these predicates. In this respect, the imperative serves as a source of evidence when it comes to proving heterogeneity within the ‘states’ class as well as to exploring its boundaries.


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