This paper presents an account of the variation in Spanish Progressive constructions from the perspective of grammaticization. Retention of features of meaning from the source constructions is reflected in distribution constraints on the different auxiliaries, which, nevertheless, are converging toward continuous meaning. The evidence supports the hypothesis that progressives originate as locative or movement constructions and that the process by which they evolve is semantic generalization (as opposed to metaphor or pragmatic strengthening). An important mechanism in this grammaticization process is frequency of occurrence in certain contexts, in support of the view that frequent repetition plays a role in semantic change (Bybee and Thomspon 1997; Haiman 1994).
All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes
- Language and Linguistics
- Linguistics and Language