Constructionalization at Work: The Emergence of the Latin Progressive Present Participle / Gerund Construction

  • Jasper Vangaever Université de Lille (UMR 8163 STL); University of Ghent (Department of Linguistics); Sorbonne Université (EA STIH). Rue du Barreau BP 60149, 59650 Villeneuve d’Ascq (France)


In Latin, the present participle and the gerund frequently function as the predicate of an adjunct clause. Such clauses are syntactically dependent on a main clause, with which they form a bi-clausal construction. Under specific semantic and pragmatic circumstances, some of these constructions are interpreted based on a pragmatic inference: the main verb, which corresponds to a verb of existence, position, or movement, is deprived of its lexical meaning and acquires a grammatical function, viz. that of presenting the non-finite state of affairs as being in the middle of its realization. The repeated use and propagation of thusly interpreted constructions gave rise to a new construction, the progressive construction. I argue that the emergence of this construction corresponds to a constructionalization process, and that although this process has not been completed within Latin, many instances of the pattern [verb of existence/position/movement + present participle/gerund] instantiate a construction in its own right, viz. different from the bi-clausal construction that gave rise to it.

Ключевые слова:

Latin, present participle, gerund, progressive construction, constructionalization, grammaticalization, Diachronic Construction Grammar


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Как цитировать
Vangaever, J. (2020). Constructionalization at Work: The Emergence of the Latin Progressive Present Participle / Gerund Construction. Philologia Classica, 14(2), 249-266.
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