Rethinking the genesis of the Romance periphrastic perfect
The Romance languages all display periphrastic perfects that can be traced to Latin [habere “have” + noun + perfect participle]. A new survey of the Latin corpus reveals that this string had three distinct structures and values. I argue that the likeliest source of the perfects is a periphrasis denoting the achievement of a result or a persisting resultant state. This implies that the relationship between possessive and auxiliary habere is more complex than previously supposed. Finally, I examine the range of values that this periphrasis takes across the Romance languages. I maintain that the growth of the perfect at the expense of the preterite followed an orderly pattern, with requirements on the temporal denotation of the perfect successively relaxed.
Keywords: auxiliary, possession, grammaticalization, Latin, Romance, perfect
Published online: 30 June 2011
Cited by 5 other publications
No author info given
de Acosta, Diego
Hertzenberg, Mari Johanne
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