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Predicative verbs of transition in Portuguese and Spanish: A cognitive approach to aspect, aktionsart, and tense

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Abstract

Contrary to the Germanic languages, the Romance languages have a whole range of verbs instead of one (or two) specific, polysemic copula verb which can be used to express all kinds of transition from one state or situation into another, i.e. serving as a dynamic counterpart of a corresponding static verb used to describe existing states of affairs related to animate or inanimate subjects in a predicative context. There also exist more synthetic ways of expressing change in the state of affairs through the so-called ingressive verbs. These verbs reflect the typical situation in Latin, where transition, i.e. change in the state of affairs, was normally represented by lexical and/or synthetic means of expression. Cf.<i>excandesco </i>and <i>irascor </i>‘to get angry’, where the rise of a new situation is made explicit by the inchoative infix <i>-sc-. </i>Thus the nowadays current analytical expressions of transition by means of a dynamic copula or a factitive verb followed by a predicative complement of the subject or object, respectively,represent a typological shift from the ancient, synthetic ways of expressing situational change.

References

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