Article published in:New Perspectives on the Study of Ser and E star
Edited by Isabel Pérez-Jiménez, Manuel Leonetti and Silvia Gumiel-Molina
[Issues in Hispanic and Lusophone Linguistics 5] 2015
► pp. 239–266
Origins and development of adjectival passives in Spanish
a corpus study
To date, it has generally been assumed that most contemporary uses of Spanish estar ‘be.loc’ arose some time after the use of ser ‘be’, and that the former eventually took over most uses of the latter. Previous analyses of diachronic change in estar claim that the usage of this verb became generalized as a result of some reanalysis or grammaticalization change, presumably taking over the result state and locative uses of ser. In this paper we wish to go one step further and investigate the questions of how adjectival passive estar + participle emerged in Spanish and how it extended its usage at the expense of ser based on an empirical analysis of data coming from a large corpus of Spanish texts from the 12th to the 20th century. We propose that the first and most frequent uses of estar determined the way the participial construction emerged and further extended itself, gradually usurping uses of ser, and that the language change mechanism which drove this development was analogy. More specifically, we argue that this development was driven by the analogical relations established between participles appearing with this verb and locative prepositional phrases.
Keywords: adjectival passives, analogy, copula, language change, locative
Published online: 28 October 2015
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