Grammaticalization through inherent variability: The development of a progressive in Spanish

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Abstract

With the goal of elucidating the diachronic trajectory of a progressive, multivariate analysis is used to track the linguistic factors conditioning variation between the Spanish Progressive and the simple Present, in 13th-15th, 17th, and 19th century texts. The Progressive begins as more of a locative construction, as shown by the early favoring effect of co-occurring locatives. The direction of this co-occurring locative effect is retained over time, but the magnitude weakens relative to aspectual constraints (limited vs. extended duration contexts, dynamic vs. stative verbs), and the Progressive is increasingly disfavored in negatives and interrogatives. Increasing frequency is accompanied by changes in linguistic conditioning. An aspectual opposition arises as, in the course of speakers' recurrent choices between variant forms, the variants develop functional differentiation.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)73-122
Number of pages50
JournalStudies in Language
Volume36
Issue number1
DOIs
StatePublished - May 24 2012

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Language and Linguistics
  • Communication
  • Linguistics and Language

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