Edited by Sylvie Hancil, Tine Breban and José Vicente Lozano
[Studies in Language Companion Series 202] 2018
► pp. 231–256
Maltese has grammaticalised an avertive construction involving a perfective lexical verb in combination with the auxiliary għodd; itself a grammaticalisation from a lexical verb, which as in the rest of the Arabic vernaculars means ‘count’, but which in Classical Arabic also means ‘counter-to-fact’. Għodd is synchronically also used to build one of the proximative constructions available in the language. The lexical verb in the proximative construction can be either imperfective or perfective, and it is only the verb’s lexical semantics that can disambiguate between an avertive or proximative reading when it is a perfective verb that combines with għodd. The focus in this paper is the syntax of these constructions, where the auxiliary is essentially analysed as a raising predicate. Additional data is however provided to highlight the auxiliary’s further development and grammaticalisation, where we observe the loss of its PRED-value, i.e. its semantic associations, as it comes to function as a feature-bearing auxiliary at the syntactic level.