Deconstructing the non-episodic readings of Spanish deverbal adjectives
The interpretation of an eventuality embedded in a deverbal adjective is typically non-episodic; specifically it is dispositional, habitual or modal. This article examines these readings based on a case study of three productive adjectivalizing suffixes in Spanish. It is proposed that the same structure can underlie these three non-episodic readings. Which is selected in each case is a function of different pieces of linguistic information, including the causal link between subject and eventuality, and the status of external circumstances relevant for the situation. This approach suggests an underspecification view of polysemy, makes it possible to account for the range of non-episodic readings without using designated null aspectual operators, and provides a natural explanation of the asymmetries between these readings with respect to adjective-to-noun conversion and combination with animate nouns.
Accepted manuscript version. Published version at http://doi.org/10.3366/word.2016.0085.