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What do Spanish copulas have in common with Tibetan evidentials?

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Abstract

The Spanish copula estar ‘be.stage-level’ has both well-known aspectual restrictionsand evidential uses. Tibetan evidential ‘dug also shows similar aspectualconstraints. Both features are derived from assuming that the relevant propertyin both cases is the gradability of the predicate, which establishes a comparisonclass within-individuals (yielding estar ‘be.stage-level’) or between-individuals(yielding ser ‘be.individual-level’). A between-individual comparison class isanchored by the nature of the comparison, whereas a within-individual comparisonclass must be contextually located. This location requirement results inthe possibility of having evidential readings.

References

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