The creation of a periphrasis: Estar, ir, and venir in construction with gerunds in rioplatense Spanish

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Abstract

The present study deals with the meanings conveyed by verbal periphrases with the auxiliaries estar ‘to be in a place’, ir ‘to go’, and venir ‘to come’, plus a gerund, as in: te lo está explicando ‘he is explaining it to you’, te lo va explicando ‘he [gradually] explains it to you’, and te lo viene explicando ‘he keeps explaining it to you’. These verbs underwent a process of grammaticalization which turned them into auxiliaries, conveying mainly tense and aspect. There has been a cross-domain mapping from the literal spatial meaning into metaphorical temporal values. In the periphrases, all three verbs perform a common role: they provide a temporal frame for the progressive situations (expressed by the gerund) to occur. However, the cognitive topology of the source domain still applies to the auxiliaries, whose different metaphorical meanings are responsible for the contrast in meanings and functions among the three periphrases. The analysis is based on a corpus of 20 hours of informal conversations.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)25-62
Number of pages38
JournalInternational Journal of Language Studies
Volume14
Issue number1
StatePublished - Jan 2020

Keywords

  • Aspect
  • Cognitive Topology
  • Grammaticalization
  • Metaphor
  • Periphrasis
  • Semantic Change
  • Spanish

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