Gauging expansion in synchrony: The periphrastic perfect in nineteen century Rioplatense Spanish

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    One of the hallmarks of present-day Rioplatense Spanish is the highly specialised use of the periphrastic perfect or Preterito Perfecto Compuesto (PPC). Most perfect nuances are instead encoded in this dialect through the synthetic past or Preterito Perfecto Simple (PPS). Exploration of a novel corpus of historical media and theatre plays shows that, in nineteenth century Rioplatense, the PPC was productively used to encode hot news, hodiernality and hesternality. These nineteenth century uses are in line with a cross-linguistic perfect-to-perfective grammaticalization pathway but the path is halted in present-day Rioplatense. We draw on cognitive grammaticalization theory to argue that there is no determinacy in grammaticalizing constructions: a source meaning does not uniquely determine the path a grammaticalizing construction may take. © 2021 John Benjamins Publishing Company.
    Original languageEnglish
    Title of host publicationThe Perfect Volume
    Subtitle of host publicationPapers on the perfect
    EditorsKristin Melum Eide, Marc Fryd
    Place of PublicationAmsterdam
    PublisherJohn Benjamins Publishing Company
    Number of pages18
    ISBN (Electronic)9789027259998
    ISBN (Print)9789027208606
    Publication statusPublished - 16 Jul 2021

    Publication series

    NameStudies in Language Companion

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