The rise of the periphrastic perfect tense in the continental West-Germanic languages
Hans Broekhuis
December 2017

This article adopts the traditional claim in Dutch linguistics that periphrastic perfect-tense constructions gradually developed out of copular-like constructions with HAVE and BE. It argues that this development was made possible by the introduction of two morphological rules. The first rule derives verbal (event-denoting) participles from adjectival (property-denoting) participles, which gave rise to periphrastic perfect-tense constructions with transitive and mutative intransitive verbs. At a later stage this rule was replaced by a rule (still productive in present-day Dutch) that derives verbal participles from verbal stems, as a result of which the periphrastic perfect tense spread to non-mutative intransitive verbs. The article concludes by showing that this account is superior to Coussé’s (2008) flexible user-based account within the constructionist framework, which rejects the categorial distinction between adjectival and verbal participles.
Format: [ pdf ]
Reference: lingbuzz/003206
(please use that when you cite this article)
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keywords: language change, periphrastic perfect tense, adjectival and verbal participle, copular and semi-copular verb, perfect auxiliary, “double perfect” constructions, generative grammar, construction grammar, syntax
previous versions: v1 [November 2016]
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