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Evolution in Romance Verbal Systems

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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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Table of contents 5

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Table of contents Emmanuelle LABEAU & Jacques BRES Introduction ............................................................................................................. 1 Aude REBOTIER The passé simple takes a step back; who steps in? Narrative Tenses for naître and mourir in French and in Italian ....................... 7 Mary T. COPPLE Following the path: An emerging perfect(ive) viewed through temporal reference ................................................................................. 55 Teresa Maria XIQUÉS Towards a Unified Account of the Present Perfect in Catalan and English .......................................................................................... 91 Aude REBOTIER French Participle Agreement with avoir: current trends as an indication of grammaticalization ................................................................ 115 Pier Marco BERTINETTO Non-conventional uses of the Pluperfect in Italian (and German) literary prose ........................................................................................................ 145 Jacques BRES & Emmanuelle LABEAU About the illustrative use of the aller + infinitive periphrasis in French ... 171 Marianne COLLIER The aller Perfect .................................................................................................. 203 Monica-Alexandrina IRIMIA Indirect evidentiality and related domains: some observations from the current evolution of the Romanian presumptive ......................... 221 VI Table des matières Alexandra FIÉIS & Ana MADEIRA Modals and tense in Contemporary European Portuguese and in Old Portuguese .............................................................................................. 261 Telmo MÓIA Portuguese temporal expressions with haver and their Romance counterparts – Semantic interpretation and grammaticalization ................ 285

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