Grammaticalization of the spatio-temporal expressions in Spanish: the case of periphrases of verbs of motion


  • Andrzej Zieliński



auxiliarization, grammaticalization, verbs of motion, contextual situation, time-space metaphor


This paper has two main objectives. On the one hand, it aims to present the complex and widespread process of space-time metaphorization, which we – according to many eminent anthropologists – inherited from our ancestors: we perceive time using spatial metaphors. On the other hand, we will apply this mechanism in semantic-syntactic analysis to periphrastic constructions with verbs of motion ir (<ir a + infinitive>; <ir + infinitive>), venir (<venir a + infinitive>, <venir + infinitive> and <venir de + infinitive>) in medieval and classical Spanish to see more clearly the reasons of their grammaticalization and their later degrammaticalization, both driven primarily by subjectivity and pragmatic context. The selection of of the two auxiliaries lies in the different conceptualization of time. With the help of a relatively rich corpus covering the major texts of medieval and classical Spanish literature, the author will try to analyze the reasons for their formal and semantic creation. Thus we seek to demonstrate that this semantic-syntactic change involving periphrastic verbs of motion is embedded in space-time metaphorization. Further, we will attempt to show the reason behind the disappearance of some of the meanings which were distinctive for this period of Spanish.


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Author Biography

Andrzej Zieliński

Andrzej Zieliński es profesor asistente en la Universidad Jaguelónica de Cracovia desde 2007. Imparte clases de gramática descriptiva de la lengua española (morfología), historia de la lengua española y gramática contrastiva
polaco-española. Desde 2010 es doctor en lingüística. Se ha especializado en morfosintaxis y semántica históricas de las lenguas románicas occidentales. Se doctoró con la tesis Gramaticalización de las expresiones espacio-temporales. Las perífrasis de los verbos de movimiento en español medieval, que fue nominada al «Premio del Primer ministro de la República de Polonia». Hasta la fecha es autor de más de veinte artículos publicados en las revistas nacionales e internacionales.



How to Cite

Zieliński, A. (2012). Grammaticalization of the spatio-temporal expressions in Spanish: the case of periphrases of verbs of motion. Verba Hispanica, 20(1), 431–451.