Martín Fuchs and María Piñango publish a book chapter in Issues in Hispanic and Lusophone Linguistics

June 1, 2020
Recent PhD graduate Martín Fuchs, and professor María Piñango published a chapter, together with Ashwini Deo (The Ohio State University), in the latest volume of John Benjamins’ Issues in Hispanic and Lusophone Linguistics series “Hispanic Linguistics: current issues and new directions”. In their chapter, “The Progressive-to-Imperfective shift: Contextually determined variation in Rioplatense, Iberian, and Mexican Altiplano Spanish”, they refute the claim that in Spanish, the Simple Present marker and the Present Progressive marker are in free variation to convey an event-in-progress reading. Based on evidence from sentence acceptability studies in three different Spanish dialects, they show that the distribution of the two markers is not random, but sensitive to contextual modulation. Specifically, the Simple Present is more acceptable in contexts where interlocutors share perceptual access to the event at issue. Otherwise, participants favor the Present Progressive. They also show that this variation reflects and is constrained by the well-attested grammaticalization path in which progressive markers gradually become more general markers of imperfectivity.
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