Edited by Benjamin Fagard, José Pinto De Lima and Dejan Stosic
[Revue Romane 54:1] 2019
► pp. 39–61
En voie de
Du trajet spatial à l’ aspect
This contribution presents a comparison of the French prepositional expressions en voie de on the one hand and en route / en chemin (pour) on the other. We aim to show that être en route and être en chemin can be used as complex predicates resulting from a lexicalisation process, whereas être en voie de has been transformed into a marker of grammatical aspect as a consequence of a grammaticalization process. We then propose that the different evolution of both expressions can be explained by the fact that voie had already in Old French a more abstract meaning than chemin and route, which allowed it to designate a series of actions in direction of an objective. Finally, we propose to explain the emergence of en voie de + deverbal noun / infinitive as an aspectual marker by noticing that it was created at the moment French developed other analytic aspectual expressions in accordance with an abstract constructional pattern ‘expression/verb of movement + infinitive’ .