Article published in:Romance Linguistics 2009: Selected papers from the 39th Linguistic Symposium on Romance Languages (LSRL), Tucson, Arizona, March 2009
Edited by Sonia Colina, Antxon Olarrea and Ana Maria Carvalho
[Current Issues in Linguistic Theory 315] 2010
► pp. 387–404
Detours along the perfect path
The development of periphrastic past constructions in Romance, including those that do not take a reflex of Latin habĒre as an auxiliary, has been analyzed along a continuum from a resultative construction to a perfect, and in some cases to a perfective (see Harris 1982; Fleischman 1983). This paper argues that the development of the Pretérito Perfeito Composto (PPC) in Portuguese does not adhere to the proposed typologies of periphrastic past evolution in Romance. Using diachronic corpus data, we revisit the proposed resultative > perfect grammaticalization path (see Bybee et al. 1994) and contend that the developmental trajectory of the Portuguese PPC is distinct from other cases of periphrastic past evolution in Romance languages, specifically Spanish. We demonstrate that the iterative meaning unique to the PPC in contemporary Portuguese arises in morphosyntactically ambiguous contexts in which the ter + Past Participle construction co-occurs with semantically plural complements.
Published online: 25 November 2010
Cited by other publications
Terán, Virginia & Matthew Kanwit
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