The developmental logic of the analytic past in German and Polish
Other than Russian, but to all appearances like Czech, Polish is developing a new auxiliary from <i>mieć</i> “have, possess” that it can use for the hitherto unknown analytic past. We aim to observe what the status of this innovation in Polish is: whether or not it is to be tracked back to a contact phenomenon induced by neigh­boring German; whether its distributions are accompanied, or even triggered, by erosion of lexical aspectual and morphological oppos­itions; whether or not it follows the same grammaticalizing path as medieval German; whether it cuts the same portions in the lexical inventory of verbs on the criterion [±motion] yielding <i>sein/byt’≠ haben/mieć</i>-pasts. One may duly conclude that the appearance of the new Polish periphrastic past is not due to contact influence from German. Its grammaticalizing steps are in part consonant with those of the early development in German. We shall draw consequences from specific differences in the Polish and German developments, and we shall try to sketch the uni­fying component.