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18 mei 2011: Lezing gastonderzoekster Raquel Palomo Rodriguez

Plaats: Meertens Instituut, Amsterdam
Tijd: 14.00 uur
Lezing gastonderzoekster Raquel Palomo Rodriguez:

The role and evolution of emphasis in concessive aunque in Spanish. A diachronic corpus-based approach to grammaticalization.


Raquel Palomo Rodríguez

Despite the emergence in recent years of interesting and valuable studies on concessivity either comparative (König, Kortmann) or monolingual (Rivarola, Bartol Hernández), it seems still necessary to provide a clear and universal explanation for the significance of these predicates and its syntactic variety. Considering the number and diversity of occurrences of these conjunctions in the world`s languages, it is evident that a wide range of forms exists, so it does a variety of meanings. Among the various forms, stand out those with an emphatic nature, characterised by their high frequency of use. Its emphatic functions are covered mostly by particles of temporal or quantitative background. The continuous influence of emphasis erodes the original meaning of the particle, as well as, paradoxically, it weakens its own emphatic force. This process is quite general and can be observed in a sample of languages taken into consideration, and it is also the preferred construction in many of them. Speakers have preferred these emphasis-based structures possibly because of their high degree of expressiveness; i.e., the amount of subjectivity present in these particles is considerably higher than in any other concessive constructs. This preference is revealed through the high frequency of use; however, time causes a partial bleaching on the emphatic component. This fact is associated with the emergence of a second emphatic layer, which covers part of the significant loss of strength suffered by the conjunction and allows the emergence of somehow more specialized structures.
Through a corpus-based analysis of old and contemporary oral and written texts, the emergence of a new structure developing a second emphatic layer in Spanish can be observed: aunque sólo. The new conjunction provide empirical support to our hypothesis. Our analysis reveals that the frequency of use of this emergent emphatical particles has been increasing steadily since the Middle Ages up today.