The cognitive mechanisms of temporal expression: linguistic changes in historic Spanish
Keywords:"estar", preposition, infinitive, time, space, modality
Linguistic change, which in the framework of the theory of subjectivity is attributable to the attitudes, beliefs or evaluations of the speaker, is explained by reference to the speaker’s subjectivity in the coding of their own statements, resulting in the extension of the pragmatics of some lexical items and some grammatical structures. Following these principles, the objective of this paper is to examine how the syntactic-semantic structure [estar + preposition + infinitive V], which had a strictly temporal function in historic Spanish, developed from a spatial one. In other words, the more objective the sense of place, whether in terms of location or direction, gradually attains more abstract functions, whether pragmatic, lexical and/or grammar items, with the temporal sense one of key meanings. Also, from a Cognitive Grammar perspective, this study focuses on the analysis of the verb estar with prepositions de, en and a, and the aspectual function of the infinitive, looking at its formation and evolution, the semantic representation of its components, associated with both the lexicon and the syntactic composition process of the parts and sentence syntactic units, whether compositional or contextual linguistic sentences. The grammatical categories enumerated above and their combinatorial syntax are where you can discover the semantic values of representation of an event that is seen at a particular point of their development, or with more abstract and subjective values that highlight even a modal dimension.
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