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Evolution in Romance Verbal Systems

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The present book focuses on evolution in the Romance verbal systems. In the wake of Bybee's and Dahl's studies, it advocates the benefits of adopting a cross-linguistic and diachronic approach to the study of linguistic phenomena. Within the scope of the Romance family, similar cross-linguistic evolution paths are explored, as related languages at different stages of grammaticalisation may shed light on each other's developments. A diachronic dimension also proves desirable for several reasons. First, a diachronic approach significantly enhances the explanatory power of linguistic theory by showing how a specific form came to convey a certain function. Second, change is better revealed in diachronic movement than in static synchrony. Third, meaning constantly evolves and a one-off probe will be less revealing than a sustained study through time. Finally and most importantly, similarities across languages appear more obviously in diachrony. All the chapters of this volume participate in their own way to that crosslinguistic and diachronic approach and help make it an original, focused contribution that covers all main Romance languages.
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Table of Contents

Contents: Aude Rebotier: The passe simple takes a step back; who steps in? Narrative Tenses for naitre and mourir in French and in Italian - Mary T. Copple: Following the path: An emerging perfect(ive) viewed through temporal reference - Teresa Maria Xiques: Towards a Unified Account of the Present Perfect in Catalan and English - Aude Rebotier: French Participle Agreement with avoir: current trends as an indication of grammaticalization - Pier Marco Bertinetto: Non-conventional uses of the Pluperfect in Italian (and German) literary prose - Jacques Bres/Emmanuelle Labeau: About the illustrative use of the aller + infinitive periphrasis in French - Marianne Collier: The aller Perfect - Monica-Alexandrina Irimia: Indirect evidentiality and related domains: some observations from the current evolution of the Romanian presumptive - Alexandra Fieis/Ana Madeira: Modals and tense in Contemporary European Portuguese and in Old Portuguese - Telmo Moia: Portuguese temporal expressions with haver and their Romance counterparts - Semantic interpretation and grammaticalization.

About the Author

Emmanuelle Labeau is Senior Lecturer in French language and linguistics at Aston University (Birmingham, UK). She has published extensively on tenses in French and has been the President of the Association for French Language Studies since 2011. Jacques Bres is professor of French Linguistics at Montpellier 3. His research specialisms include verbal tenses and dialogism.

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