Focus on speaker subjective involvement in Present Perfect grammaticalization: Evidence from two spanish varieties
As part of a widespread inclination in languages that draws attention to particular chunks of information over others, the variation of Present Perfect (PP) and Preterit (Pret) in Spanish provides speakers with an effective mechanism that projects one particular past event over others in narrative. In oral data from El Salvador and written data from colonial Mexico, the use of PP in narrative clauses is a practical device that speakers exploit to make certain events stand out to the interlocutor. And just as languages use special components -such as intonation, word order, and morphology- to make chunks of information more prominent, these varieties use PP and Pret variation to make temporal and psychological degrees of proximity and remoteness evident to the interlocutor. The breach of PP into narratives seems to be the product of a stylistic recourse with notable cognitive consequences that enhance the speaker's involvement in discourse. Through a grammaticalization process in which PP acquires readings more reminiscent of the Pret's function as a perfective gram, the PP form is reinterpreted as a valid form in those contexts previously reserved for Pret. In short, PP draws attention to greater speaker's affective closeness to the event, while Pret enhances detachment and dissociation.
Authors who publish with this journal agree to the following terms:
- Authors retain copyright and grant the journal right of first publication with the work simultaneously licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution License that allows others to share the work with an acknowledgement of the work's authorship and initial publication in this journal.
- Authors are able to enter into separate, additional contractual arrangements for the non-exclusive distribution of the journal's published version of the work (e.g., post it to an institutional repository or publish it in a book), with an acknowledgement of its initial publication in this journal.
- Authors are permitted and encouraged to post their work online (e.g., in institutional repositories or on their website) prior to and during the submission process, as it can lead to productive exchanges, as well as earlier and greater citation of published work (See The Effect of Open Access).