On the aspectuality of the Individual-Level / Stage-Level dichotomy


  • María J. Arche University of Greenwich




IL, SL, ser, estar


This paper addresses how the contrast known as Individual-­‐Level/Stage-­‐Level (IL/SL) is implemented in the grammar. More specifically, the paper is a critical assessment of the view that the IL/SL distinction is an aspectual distinction. The empirical data I will be using to probe into the IL/SL dichotomy is the contrast between the copular verbs in Spanish ser/estar. I will argue that the Spanish copular contrast reflexes the IL/SL dichotomy and that this dichotomy cannot be reduced to an aspectual difference in the ways it has been proposed in previous literature. Concurring with other authors I will argue that IL/SL-­‐ness ensues from a different syntactic composition, very likely from different heads of prepositional nature, which can be argued to carry aspectual value. Crucially, however, this aspectual heads do not seem to translate into differences at the level of viewpoint or situation aspect in any relevant sense, as has been proposed in the literature.




How to Cite

Arche, M. J. (2012). On the aspectuality of the Individual-Level / Stage-Level dichotomy. Borealis – An International Journal of Hispanic Linguistics, 1(2), 109–132. https://doi.org/10.7557/



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