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Title: Perfective auxiliaries, aspect and grammaticalisation in Spanish
Author: Robinson, Martha G.
Awarding Body: University of Edinburgh
Current Institution: University of Edinburgh
Date of Award: 2002
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The study of auxiliaries has concerned linguists of many persuasions for decades generating an ample body of research. Important questions of this research have revolved around several issues. Firstly, whether the category of auxiliaries form a uniform category across languages or whether there is cross-linguistic variation. Secondly, the issue of whether auxiliaries form a distinct and discrete category from lexical verbs or whether they are categorically related to them. Thirdly, the traditional open/closed or lexical/functional part of speech divide. In this thesis we investigate these issues within the context of Generative grammar where they have been taken up and translated into questions with important implications. In connection with the first question it is generally assumed in this literature that auxiliaries are discrete and form a universal category. In other words, this means that auxiliaries are uniform across languages. The second question is connected to the way auxiliaries are represented in a syntactic tree and is translated as whether auxiliaries project in Syntax as verbs (i.e. as V° level categories) or as the distinct category “auxiliary” (or AUX). Finally, the functional/lexical divide has often been interpreted in relation to the semantic properties of auxiliaries or more specifically, to the lexico-semantic notion of thematic roles. That is, auxiliaries differ from lexical or contentive verbs in that the former are often considered to be semantically empty defective verbs and this is often interpreted in terms of thematic roles. This is to say, auxiliaries in contrast to lexical verbs are unable to assign thematic roles. This further translates conceptually into the inability of auxiliaries to have arguments and by extension to engage in argument-taking operations. In this thesis we will be particularly interested in this latter issue in connection with the Spanish perfective aspectual system of auxiliaries and we will look at it from the perspective of Grammaticalization.
Supervisor: Not available Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available