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Alea iacta est : insights from corpus semantics into the diachrony of the Latin passive

Boekbijdrage - Boekhoofdstuk Conferentiebijdrage

The current study aims to shed more light on the dynamics involved in the changing form-function pairings in the Latin passive system. On the one hand, the ‘old’ construction for perfectum stem passives (e.g. cantatus est) experiences competition from an innovation (e.g. cantatus fuit) which specializes in the function of ANTERIORITY and survived as a PAST PERFECTIVE in Romance (e.g. Fr. il fut chanté). On the other hand, cantatus est gave rise to the Romance present passive (e.g. Fr. il est chanté). This study focusses on two key aspects of this development. First, both constructions should be found increasingly more often with head-initial order, as head-initiality is fixed in Romance. Second, the semantics of cantatus est (PRO PRAESENTE vs. ANTERIOR/PAST or RESULTATIVE) is thought to be related to the likelihood of cantatus est to occur with head-initial order (i.e. est cantatus). Quantitative data presented in recent studies is (a) supported by additional quantitative results from a very broad corpus (diachronically and in terms of text types), and (b) supplemented with more in-depth semantic evidence on the basis of a qualitative, close-reading analysis of a representative sample, suggesting the vital importance of additional semantic data in diachronic investigations.
Boek: Varietate delectamur : multifarious approaches to synchronic and diachronic variation in Latin : selected papers from the 14th International Colloquium on Late and Vulgar Latin (Ghent, 2022)
Volume: 1
Aantal pagina's: 1
Jaar van publicatie:2024