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Evolution in Romance Verbal Systems

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Edited By Emmanuelle Labeau and Jacques Bres

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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s all main Romance languages. 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. Evolution in Romance Verbal Systems 108 Pe te r L an g ISBN 978-3-0343-1438-1 www.peterlang.com Ev ol ut io n in R om an ce V er ba l S ys te m s Peter Lang E m m an ue lle L ab ea u & J ac qu es B re s (é ds .) Emmanuelle Labeau & Jacques Bres (éds.) 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 adop- ting a cross-linguistic and diachronic approach to the study of linguistic phenomena. Within the scope of the Romance family, similar cross-lin- guistic evolution paths are explored, as related languages at different stages of grammaticalisation may shed light on each other’s developments. A dia- chronic dimension also proves desirable for several reasons. First, a dia- chronic 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....

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