Article published in:Argument Structure in Flux: The Naples-Capri Papers
Edited by Elly van Gelderen, Jóhanna Barðdal and Michela Cennamo
[Studies in Language Companion Series 131] 2013
► pp. 435–458
Tornar and volver
The interplay of frequency and semantics in compound tense auxiliary selection in Medieval and Classical Spanish
This paper examines how the interplay of frequency and semantics may have influenced the directionality of the change of the compound tense auxiliary system in Spanish, taking the near-synonymous verbs tornar and volver (‘to return’) in the 16th century as examples. There is a significant contrast in the auxiliary selection of the two verbs that can be explained by taking into account the differences in semantic usage of the two verbs, as well as frequency effects. On the one hand, the higher degree of motional usage of volver leads to the more frequent selection of ser. On the other hand, the higher usage frequency of volver led to a conservation of the usage of the ser-auxiliary with this verb. In consequence, the chapter argues for a joint influence of semantic usage and frequency effects on the development of auxiliary selection in Spanish.
Published online: 25 June 2013
Cited by 3 other publications
No author info given
Garachana Camarero, Mar & Axel Hernández Díaz
Velde, Freek Van de & Alek Keersmaekers
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