Chapter published in:Studies in Historical Ibero-Romance Morpho-Syntax
Edited by Miriam Bouzouita, Ioanna Sitaridou and Enrique Pato
[Issues in Hispanic and Lusophone Linguistics 16] 2018
► pp. 123–148
Chapter 6The dative experiencer of Spanish gustar
This paper focuses on the dative experiencer of Spanish gustar ‘to please, like’, which replaced an older nominative experiencer. The syntactic shift calls for attention since it goes against the well-established diachronic tendency for oblique arguments to be eliminated in favor of nominative subjects (cf. English like). We find a partial explanation in the existence of a dative marking pattern on which gustar could model its behavior and try to identify the semantic and pragmatic factors that played a role in motivating the extension of the non-nominative experiencer to gustar. Our analysis confirms that lexical items retain traces of their source meaning which continue to shape subsequent developments, and that specific discourse contexts are instrumental in generating processes of change.
- 2.The historical development of gustar
- 2.1The physical sense of taste
- 2.2Extension to the mental world
- 2.3The syntactic shift
- 3.Construals of mental events
- 3.1Gustar vs.amar
- 3.2Gustar vs. querer
- 3.3Gustar and placer
- 4.The change and its motivation
- 4.1The initial contexts
- 4.2Generalisation of the dative construction with gustar
- 5.The ‘liking’ verbs with a human stimulus
Published online: 17 July 2018
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