Emergence and grammaticalization of constructions within the <i>se me</i> network of Spanish

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Historical linguistics has begun to explore the way new insights into change can be gained from a constructional approach to language. In this work we focus on a Spanish construction used for events caused accidentally by a human participant marked dative. The construction enters fairly late in the language and thus raises the question of how the new pairing of form and meaning emerged. Under our proposal, the development originates in an old voice pattern expressing spontaneously occurring events and leads to the new construction through a series of gradual extensions to distinct event types. Most significantly, as a result of these extensions the input construction becomes more schematic, which is to say, it grammaticalizes (Trousdale this volume).


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