Article published in:Language Variation – European perspectives II: Selected papers from the 4th International Conference on Language Variation in Europe (ICLaVE 4), Nicosia, June 2007
Edited by Stavroula Tsiplakou, Marilena Karyolemou and Pavlos Pavlou
[Studies in Language Variation 5] 2009
► pp. 215–224
Variation and grammaticisation
The emergence of an aspectual opposition
Using multivariate analysis, this study tracks the configuration of factors conditioning variation between the Spanish Progressive (estar “to be (located)” + Gerund (Verb-ndo)) and the simple Present, in 15th, 17th and 19th century data. While the direction of effect remains stable, change is manifested in shifts in magnitude of effect. The Progressive begins as a locative construction with a presentative function, as shown by strong early effects of co-occurring locatives and postverbal full NP subjects. Over time locative meaning weakens and aspectual meaning, which is an implication of the locative construction, strengthens. The aspectual opposition between the Progressive and simple Present then extends to stative predicates. Thus, the changing relative magnitude of effect of the factor groups in the multivariate analyses shows the gradual emergence of the progressive-nonprogressive opposition. In grammaticisation, new constructions gradually evolve from patterns of variation, in the course of speakers’ recurrent choices in discourse.
Published online: 19 November 2009
Cited by other publications
No author info given
Blas Arroyo, José Luis & Kim Schulte
CACOULLOS, RENA TORRES
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