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LINGUIST List 17.3188

Tue Oct 31 2006

Diss: Historical Ling/Morphology/Syntax/Text&Corpus Ling: Aaron: 'V...'

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        1.    Jessi Aaron, Variation and Change in Spanish Future Temporal Expression

Message 1: Variation and Change in Spanish Future Temporal Expression
Date: 28-Oct-2006
From: Jessi Aaron <jeaaronufl.edu>
Subject: Variation and Change in Spanish Future Temporal Expression

Institution: University of New Mexico
Program: Spanish
Dissertation Status: Completed
Degree Date: 2006

Author: Jessi Elana Aaron

Dissertation Title: Variation and Change in Spanish Future Temporal Expression

Linguistic Field(s): Historical Linguistics
                            Text/Corpus Linguistics

Subject Language(s): Spanish (spa)

Dissertation Director:
Melissa Axelrod
Joan L. Bybee
Concepción Company Company
Rena C. Torres Cacoullos
Catherine E. Travis

Dissertation Abstract:

This quantitative, diachronic study of variation between the Spanish
Synthetic Future cantaré (SF) and the Periphrastic Future voy a cantar (PF)
tackles the development of these two expressions within and outside the
realm of future temporal reference in Spanish since Old Spanish through
the early 21st century. Working within the framework of grammaticization
and variation theory, this study begins with a qualitative and quantitative
form-based analysis of each form, based on over 5,500 tokens extracted
from a 935,000-word written and oral corpus.

In the case of the SF, the relationship between SF occurrences in future
temporal contexts and those in non-future epistemic contexts is
addressed, and it is shown that these two contexts of use have statistically
significant differences in distributional tendencies. In the case of the PF,
which appeared with a relative frequency of just over 10% in the 17th-
century data, it is argued that very few uses are not subsumed under future
temporal expression.

The form-based analyses are followed by four independent function-based
analyses for each time period spanning the 17th through the 20th
centuries, in which the factors conditioning SF-PF variation are examined.
A comparison of these analyses reveals, first, a contextual generalization of
the PF into erstwhile SF territory beginning in the 17th century, and second,
a shift in the division of labor in future temporal expression as the SF loses
and the PF gains default future status in the 20th century. A return to the
form-based study offers insight into this shift, suggesting that the
increased use of SF in epistemic modal contexts (e.g. ¿dónde estará María
ahora? 'Where might María be now?') perturbed the division of labor
between the SF and PF, thereby altering the linguistic conditioning on the
two future temporal expression variants in Spanish today.

The form-based analyses offer a diachronic portrait of each expression and
the particular contexts in which each expression occurs. The fuction-based
analyses give a snopshot of the division of labor between these two variants
at each time period, while comparison of these analyses reveals the details
of the dynamic process of the side-by-side grammaticization of these

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