Publication details [#800]

Cacoullos, Rena Torres. 2012. Grammaticalization through inherent variability: The development of a progressive in Spanish. Studies in Language : 73–122. 50 pp.
Publication type
Article in journal
Publication language
Place, Publisher
Amsterdam: John Benjamins


The particular paper examines the grammaticalization construction of Simple Present and Present Progressive in Spanish, taking into consideration various factors such as frequency, and semantic-pragmatic meaning. The two tenses are investigated via corpus material from 5 centuries texts (13-15th, 17th and 19th) coming from different genres. The findings showed that the progressive initially was used with a locative sense and through time the meaning of limited duration was gradually adopted. This meaning was observed being used in a habitual manner at the beginning and, gradually, it got standardized. In contrast, Simple Present was connected with extended duration. The author suggests that after recurrent choices of speakers, some variants change in terms of functionality (inherent variability).