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El Pretérito Perfecto Compuesto del español de Chile, Paraguay y Uruguay: aspectos semánticos y discursivos

Henderson, Carlos LU (2010)
Abstract
The aim of the present work is to describe the semantics and the discursive functions from a general cognitivist point of view of the usage of the Present Perfect in the spoken Spanish of Chile, Paraguay and Uruguay. It is argued that cross-linguistic values that prevailing theories often ascribe to perfect, such as continuity, current relevance and recency to the speech time –ST– do not offer a consistent view of the actual usage in the present work’s corpora. It is assumed that a basic meaning of the perfect operates in the studied dialects and is retrievable in all tokens. This meaning differs significantly from the current descriptions of the perfect of “general” Spanish.



The results show that the ST is not relevant... (More)
The aim of the present work is to describe the semantics and the discursive functions from a general cognitivist point of view of the usage of the Present Perfect in the spoken Spanish of Chile, Paraguay and Uruguay. It is argued that cross-linguistic values that prevailing theories often ascribe to perfect, such as continuity, current relevance and recency to the speech time –ST– do not offer a consistent view of the actual usage in the present work’s corpora. It is assumed that a basic meaning of the perfect operates in the studied dialects and is retrievable in all tokens. This meaning differs significantly from the current descriptions of the perfect of “general” Spanish.



The results show that the ST is not relevant to the basic meaning of the Perfect of the studied dialects; the validation of the situation or of its effects in ST might very well be an inference thereof but it is not an intrinsic component of the Perfect’s semantics. Based mainly on Dahl & Hedin (2000) and Hedin (2000), as well as on Langacker (1987, 1991), the recovering and revitalizing of the concepts type and token reference are suggested as key principles for identifying the respective domains of the Spanish Present Perfect and the Spanish Simple Past in the studied area. The Perfect, through type reference, makes an assertion of a situation as a representation of the class-type of the verbal semantics. The Simple Past, however, through token reference conceptualizes the situation as having explicit or implicit anchoring in the chronological axis of time. Three main kinds of contexts occur typically with the Perfect in the samples: detemporalized ascertainment, summary (in a broad sense of the word) and aspectual complexity. All three kinds of contexts refer to situations with temporal vagueness, moving away from the dominion of concretization as their basic meaning.

The analyses demonstrate that the Chilean and Uruguayan dialects are the dialects in that order that show a greater usage of the Perfect, whereas the Paraguayan dialect proves to be considerably restrictive. The classification of the samples revealed that Perfect usage of Chile and Uruguay had a more even internal distribution of the values, whereas the samples of Paraguay yielded nearly 50% of the Perfects in aspectual complexity contexts.



It is further claimed that Langacker’s (1987, 1991, 2000) concept of summary scanning, i.e. the schematic and holistic conceptualization of the development of a given situation, whose different facets are obtainable in a cumulative fashion and is typical for non-finite verb forms, plays a vital part in the pragmaticalization of the Perfect. The analysis disclosed that informants could take a discursive advantage of the complex nature of this tense, granting a greater rhetorical weight to the Perfect that contains a certain quota of summary scanning.

In line with Howe & Schwenter (2008) and Schwenter & Torres Cacoullos (2008), the present thesis shows that the studied dialects privilege Simple Past as the default form for past time reference and preserve Perfect for more specific and narrow meanings. This indicates that the perfect tenses in Spanish have followed (and are following) different developmental paths that are not necessarily restricted to the same sequences and mode of grammaticalization. (Less)
Please use this url to cite or link to this publication:
author
opponent
  • Prof. Howe, Chadwick, Dept. of Romance Languages, University of Georgia, USA.
publishing date
type
Thesis
publication status
published
subject
keywords
Spanish Present Perfect, basic meaning, type and token reference, temporal indeterminacy, detemporalized ascertainment, aspectual complicity.
categories
Higher Education
pages
202 pages
publisher
Stockholm University
defense location
Stockholm University
defense date
2010-05-28 14:00
ISBN
978-91-7447-007-9
language
Spanish
LU publication?
no
id
1348824a-1760-4956-989b-02ffce37cfd1 (old id 3130529)
alternative location
http://urn.kb.se/resolve?urn=urn:nbn:se:su:diva-38642
date added to LUP
2013-12-11 08:39:31
date last changed
2016-09-19 08:45:10
@misc{1348824a-1760-4956-989b-02ffce37cfd1,
  abstract     = {The aim of the present work is to describe the semantics and the discursive functions from a general cognitivist point of view of the usage of the Present Perfect in the spoken Spanish of Chile, Paraguay and Uruguay. It is argued that cross-linguistic values that prevailing theories often ascribe to perfect, such as continuity, current relevance and recency to the speech time –ST– do not offer a consistent view of the actual usage in the present work’s corpora. It is assumed that a basic meaning of the perfect operates in the studied dialects and is retrievable in all tokens. This meaning differs significantly from the current descriptions of the perfect of “general” Spanish.<br/><br>
<br/><br>
The results show that the ST is not relevant to the basic meaning of the Perfect of the studied dialects; the validation of the situation or of its effects in ST might very well be an inference thereof but it is not an intrinsic component of the Perfect’s semantics. Based mainly on Dahl &amp; Hedin (2000) and Hedin (2000), as well as on Langacker (1987, 1991), the recovering and revitalizing of the concepts type and token reference are suggested as key principles for identifying the respective domains of the Spanish Present Perfect and the Spanish Simple Past in the studied area. The Perfect, through type reference, makes an assertion of a situation as a representation of the class-type of the verbal semantics. The Simple Past, however, through token reference conceptualizes the situation as having explicit or implicit anchoring in the chronological axis of time. Three main kinds of contexts occur typically with the Perfect in the samples: detemporalized ascertainment, summary (in a broad sense of the word) and aspectual complexity. All three kinds of contexts refer to situations with temporal vagueness, moving away from the dominion of concretization as their basic meaning.<br/><br>
The analyses demonstrate that the Chilean and Uruguayan dialects are the dialects in that order that show a greater usage of the Perfect, whereas the Paraguayan dialect proves to be considerably restrictive. The classification of the samples revealed that Perfect usage of Chile and Uruguay had a more even internal distribution of the values, whereas the samples of Paraguay yielded nearly 50% of the Perfects in aspectual complexity contexts.<br/><br>
<br/><br>
It is further claimed that Langacker’s (1987, 1991, 2000) concept of summary scanning, i.e. the schematic and holistic conceptualization of the development of a given situation, whose different facets are obtainable in a cumulative fashion and is typical for non-finite verb forms, plays a vital part in the pragmaticalization of the Perfect. The analysis disclosed that informants could take a discursive advantage of the complex nature of this tense, granting a greater rhetorical weight to the Perfect that contains a certain quota of summary scanning.<br/><br>
In line with Howe &amp; Schwenter (2008) and Schwenter &amp; Torres Cacoullos (2008), the present thesis shows that the studied dialects privilege Simple Past as the default form for past time reference and preserve Perfect for more specific and narrow meanings. This indicates that the perfect tenses in Spanish have followed (and are following) different developmental paths that are not necessarily restricted to the same sequences and mode of grammaticalization.},
  author       = {Henderson, Carlos},
  isbn         = {978-91-7447-007-9},
  keyword      = {Spanish Present Perfect,basic meaning,type and token reference,temporal indeterminacy,detemporalized ascertainment,aspectual complicity.},
  language     = {spa},
  pages        = {202},
  publisher    = {ARRAY(0x9148ff0)},
  title        = {El Pretérito Perfecto Compuesto del español de Chile, Paraguay y Uruguay: aspectos semánticos y discursivos},
  year         = {2010},
}