Programa do CILX2018

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TítuloThe network reconfiguration of the Old Spanish auxiliary verb system
AutoríaJosep Ausensi Jiménez (Universitat Pompeu Fabra)
ResumoSpanish verbal auxiliary system was formed by four different auxiliary verbs: haber ‘have’, tener ‘have.poss’, ser ‘be’ and estar ‘be.loc’ which combined with different types of participles to produce constructions with singular meanings. Although Modern Spanish auxiliary system is still formed by these four auxiliaries, their semantics and their combinatorial possibilities with participles have radically changed. For instance, in Old Spanish unaccusative verbs selected both ser and haber, whereas unergative verbs only selected haber for the perfect (Aranovich 2003; Mateu 2009; Rosemeyer 2014). In this respect, Sánchez-Marco (2012) observed that the functions of the auxiliary verbs in Old Spanish were considerably more versatile than the functions they have in Modern Spanish, as all of these auxiliary verbs could participate in constructions which yielded interpretations which are now restricted only to specific auxiliaries; interestingly, also the perfect. However, each auxiliary acquired a more restricted role in the later centuries until they specialized in one function, i.e. the one they display in Modern Spanish.

In this talk, I will argue that this reconfiguration of participial constructions is a case of reconfiguration of the radial networks of participial constructions, following the work of Torrent (2012, 2015) within the CxG framework. The changes on the auxiliary system of Old Spanish are due to the reconfiguration of the radial network of these constructions (i.e. auxiliary verb + participle) as each construction specialized in one function in the later centuries. I will show that this specific inventory of constructions was altered over time due to the links between the different constructions fading away and disappearing as well as the nodes in this network merging and being altered. For instance, the links between the nodes have been clearly altered since with the perfect construction there has been a complete reconfiguration of the links between auxiliaries, as haber become the sole auxiliary to express this. In a similar vein, although the traditional approach to the birth of the modern perfect in Romance and Germanic languages claims that this was due to a process of grammaticalization or reanalysis of stative possessives into a perfect construction (Benveniste 1968; Harre 1991; Romani 2006), I will follow Fontana (2014) in arguing that there has been no such grammaticalization but instead a “rearrangement of different components of already existing preiphrastic perfect constructions which can be considered cases of constructional changes and constructionalization (Traugott and Trousdale 2013). [...]” (Fontana 2014: 68).
HorarioXoves 14 de xuño | 19:00 - 19:30 | Aula: C3