What information structure tells us about individual/stage-level predicates


  • Angel Jiménez-Fernández University of Seville




individual-level predicates, stage-level predicates, copulas, small clause, central-coincidence prepositions, terminal coincidence prepositions, topic, specificity, subextraction


The goal of this paper is to explore the lexical-syntactic structure of copulative constructions and argument small clauses within the framework proposed by Gallego & Uriagereka (2011) for the Individual-Level/Stage-Level distinction (Carlson 1988, Kratzer 1995) and implement their theory by claiming that there is a crucial correlation between IL/SL constructions and their information structure. I argue that IL subjects are topics (and hence this is a categorical construction, following Kuroda 1972, Milsark 1977 and Raposo & Uriagereka 1995), whereas in SL constructions the topic may either be the subject or a silent spatiotemporal argument (their construction being thetic). I show the topic nature of IL subjects in contexts of specificity and subextraction. I ultimately derive the IS of IL/SL constructions from their lexical-syntactic structure and identify the type of topic here as an Aboutness-Topic (in the sense of Frascarelli & Hinterhölzl 2007, Lambrecht 1994, Erteschik-Shir 1997).

Keywords: individual-level/stage-level predicates, copulas, small clause, central-coincidence/terminal coincidence prepositions, topic, specificity, subextraction

Author Biography

Angel Jiménez-Fernández, University of Seville

Associate Professor

English Language Department

University of  Seville




How to Cite

Jiménez-Fernández, A. (2012). What information structure tells us about individual/stage-level predicates. Borealis – An International Journal of Hispanic Linguistics, 1(1), 1–32. https://doi.org/10.7557/



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