From possession to obligation via shifting distributions and particular constructions
Studies of grammaticalization have identified a tendency for verbs of possession to develop modal meanings (Bybee et al. 1994, Heine & Kuteva 2002). I present evidence of the mechanisms contributing to both semantic and structural change in one such instance, the Modern Spanish deontic modal construction [tener que + Inf] “to have to”. Quantitative analysis of a corpus of written texts confirms that this process is gradual and layered, exhibiting semantic changes measurable in the ratio of lexical infinitive types to total tokens of the constructions, changing tendencies in the construction’s internal structure and the presence of highly frequent, lexically particular instances of tener que. This study presents quantifiable manifestations of grammaticalization processes that do not adhere to a linear, uniform cline and are consistently variable, even on a small scale.
Keywords: semantic change, modality, Spanish, Grammaticalization, lexical diffusion
Published online: 15 November 2016
Aaron, Jessi Elana
Brinton, Laurel J.
1991 The origin and development of quasimodal ‘have to’ in English. Online at: http://faculty.arts.ubc.ca/lbrinton/HAVETO.PDF (last accessed 14 May 2016.)
Bybee, Joan, Revere Perkins & William Pagliuca
Bybee, Joan & Rena Torres Cacoullos
Corominas, Joan & José A. Pascual
2002- Corpus del Español: 100 million words, 1200s-1900s. Online at: http://www.corpusdelespanol.org (last accessed July, 2013.)
De Smet, Hendrick
Enguita Utrilla, José María
Evans, Nicholas & David Wilkins
Garachana Camarero, Mar & Malte Rosemeyer
Gutiérrez Ordóñez, Salvador
Heine, Bernd, Ulrike Claudi & Friederike Hünnemeyer
Heine, Bernd & Tania Kuteva
Krug, Manfred G.
López Izquierdo, Marta
Sanz Martin, Blanca Elena
Traugott, Elizabeth & Graeme Trousdale
Vaan, Michiel de
Cited by 1 other publications
This list is based on CrossRef data as of 11 may 2021. Please note that it may not be complete. Sources presented here have been supplied by the respective publishers. Any errors therein should be reported to them.