Acta Societatis Linguisticae Europaeae
Editor-in-Chief: Fischer, Olga / Norde, Muriel
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Stages of grammaticalization of causative verbs and constructions in Portuguese, Spanish, French and Italian
The article shows that analytic causative constructions are more grammaticalized in French and Italian than in Spanish and Portuguese, both in meaning (semantic bleaching of the verb ‘to make’) and in synthesis (structural event integration). It is pointed out, moreover, that Italian fare + infinitive is semantically and structurally more grammaticalized than French faire + infinitive, and that the emergence of the inflected infinitive in the clausal complements of causative and perception verbs in Portuguese has made the Portuguese causative constructions less integrated, and thus less grammaticalized, than the Spanish ones. The conclusion of this study is that there exists a decreasing continuum of grammaticalization of causative constructions in Romance languages, that starts with Italian and goes on to French, Spanish and Portuguese, in that order.
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