Volume 28, Issue 1
  • ISSN 0920-9034
  • E-ISSN: 1569-9870
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There is an extensive bibliography on the meanings of the Spanish preposition para but very little has been done to address the different traits that this form acquires in contact varieties of Spanish. Paraguayan Spanish exhibits a high incidence of an innovative use of the preposition para that has been attributed to contact with Guaraní: the ‘anticipated possession’ construction, which has similar characteristics to the Guaraní marker of prospective aspect -rã. Comparative data confirm the existence of a close correspondence between this innovative extension of para and the uses of -rã. We propose a process of grammatical replication (Heine & Kuteva 2005) by which para has acquired an aspectual function not evident in Standard Spanish. We show that the semantic and grammatical shift is motivated by specific intersecting semantic components of para and its Guaraní counterpart. We trace the path of grammaticalization from minor incipient uses to systemic contact-induced change, whereby para discards its prepositive function in favor of an overt representation of an aspectual role.


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