Volume 8, Issue 1
  • ISSN 1387-6759
  • E-ISSN: 1569-9897
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This paper tackles the concepts of ‘Variation’ and ‘Specialization’, frequently used in grammaticalization theory, within the context of progressive aspectual periphrases and from a comparative perspective French-Dutch. Drawing on historical and contemporary data, it is shown that these periphrases (i) have a disambiguating function, (ii) vary as to the level of Specialization operating on them, and (iii) manifest a relatively high level of formal fusion and semantic uniformity, due to processes of ‘metaphorization’, ‘reanalysis’ and ‘desemanticization’. The synergy between ‘Variation’ and ‘Specialization’ as proposed in this analysis allows for a comprehensive account of linguistic phenomena which are subject to (especially incipient) grammaticalization.


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  • Article Type: Research Article
Keyword(s): auxiliaries; diachrony; Dutch/French; grammaticalization; progressive aspect
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