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The Grammaticalization of Tense, Aspect, Modality and Evidentiality

A Functional Perspective

Ed. by Hengeveld, Kees / Narrog, Heiko / Olbertz, Hella

Series:Trends in Linguistics. Studies and Monographs [TiLSM] 311

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September 2017
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The grammaticalization of progressive aspect in Persian

Davari, Shadi / Naghzguy-Kohan, Mehrdad


This paper investigates the development of the Persian lexical verb dâštan ‘have’, which has grammaticalized into an auxiliary verb functioning primarily as a progressive aspect marker in durative situations, and which is currently developing into a prospective marker with achievement verbs. Possessive progressives are a cross-linguistic rarity and deserve attention. We suggest that the progressive function arose through context-induced reinterpretation based on metonymic relations. The resulting reinterpretation of dâštan ‘have’ to ‘ongoingness of a durative event’ represents a conceptual shift, in the form of metaphoric extension, from possessing a physical object to possessing the continuum of an action in a focal point of utterance. We will also illustrate that the progressive’s focus on subjective notions leads to its development as an expression of the speaker’s attitude that does not describe properties of a situation in the extralinguistic world but rather in the subjective conceptualization of the speaker. The auxiliation process of dâštan ‘have’ in Persian will be analyzed based on the Auxiliation Dimensions Model proposed by Davari and Naghzguy-Kohan (forthcoming), which focuses on the force, the source and the degree of auxiliation. We also point out that these changes are in tune with the overall directionality of semantic change in grammaticalization according to Narrog (2012), namely, increase in speaker-orientation.

Citation Information

Shadi Davari, Mehrdad Naghzguy-Kohan (2017). The grammaticalization of progressive aspect in Persian. In Kees Hengeveld, Heiko Narrog, Hella Olbertz (Eds.), The Grammaticalization of Tense, Aspect, Modality and Evidentiality: A Functional Perspective (pp. 163–190). Berlin, Boston: De Gruyter. https://doi.org/10.1515/9783110519389-007

Book DOI: https://doi.org/10.1515/9783110519389

Online ISBN: 9783110519389

© 2017 Walter de Gruyter GmbH, Berlin/Munich/BostonGet Permission

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