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It's Been Said Before

By Orin Hargraves

It's Been Said Before "examines why certain phrases become clichés and why they should be avoided -- or why they still have life left in them."

New from Cambridge University Press!


Sounds Fascinating

By J. C. Wells

How do you pronounce biopic, synod, and Breughel? - and why? Do our cake and archaic sound the same? Where does the stress go in stalagmite? What's odd about the word epergne? As a finale, the author writes a letter to his 16-year-old self.

Book Information


Title: Grammaticization, Synchronic Variation, and Language Contact: A study of Spanish progressive -ndo constructions.
Written By: Rena Torres Cacoullos
Series Title: Studies in Language Companion Series 52

This study of Old Spanish and present-day Mexico and New Mexico data develops a grammaticization account of variation in progressive constructions. Diachronic changes in cooccurrence patterns show that grammaticization involves reductive change driven by frequency increases. Formal reduction results in the emergence of auxilliary-plus-gerund sequences as fused units. Semantically, the constructions originate as spatial expressions; their grammaticization involves gradual loss of locative features of meaning. Semantic generalization among parallel evolutionary paths results in the competition among different constructions in the domain of progressive aspect. Patterns of synchronic variation follow from both the retention of meaning differences and the routinization of frequent collocations, as well as sociolinguistic factors. Register considerations turn out to be crucial in evaluating the effects of language contact. Purported changes in Spanish - English bilingual varieties are largely a feature of oral, informal language rather than a manifestation of convergence.

Publication Year: 2000
Publisher: John Benjamins
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Linguistic Field(s): Historical Linguistics
Subject Language(s): Spanish
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Format: Hardback
ISBN: 1556199384
ISBN-13: 9781556199387
Prices: U.S. $ 149
Format: Hardback
ISBN-13: N/A
Prices: NLG 158.00