Grammaticalization as pattern formation: Romanian auxiliaries from a diachronic Romance perspective
Alexandru Nicolae
December 2020

By studying the grammaticalization of Romanian auxiliaries from a diachronic Romanian and a comparative Romance perspective, this paper argues that the output of grammaticalization is a predictable pattern in a given language, i.e. a language-specific parametric choice. Specifically, in the passage from old to modern Romanian we observe that a number of emergent periphrastic structures (innovations in contrast to Latin) died out, against the well-known transition from syntheticity to analyticity in the development of the Romance languages (i.e. the profusion of auxiliary structures in this particular situation). In order to account for what appears to be a diachronic paradox, we show that, under a rich cartographic structure of the IP, Romanian auxiliaries systematically grammaticalize as exponents of the category mood; the auxiliaries of the now-defunct periphrases have a richer feature matrix (and this accounts for their demise). The MoodP is also the target of synthetic (finite) verb movement, hence Romanian is, (micro)parametrically, a mood-oriented language, a hypothesis which accounts for the particular diachrony of periphrastic constructions in this language, as well as other properties.
Format: [ pdf ]
Reference: lingbuzz/006014
(please use that when you cite this article)
Published in: Revue roumaine de linguistique, 2020, LXV, 4, p. 395–422
keywords: grammaticalization, auxiliary verbs, verb movement, mood, pattern formation, analyticity, romanian, romance, morphology, syntax
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