Martín Fuchs gives invited talks at KU Leuven and the University of the Basque Country

November 25, 2018

Martín presented his dissertation work on the synchrony and diachrony of the Spanish Imperfective domain at KU Leuven, in Belgium, and at the University of the Basque Country (UPV/EHU), in Spain. 

The talk at KU Leuven focused on how the convergence of synchronic and diachronic questions can better explained linguistic phenomena. Specifically, Martín showed how the synchronic variation within the Spanish Imperfective domain can be partially explained by the existence of a unidirectional grammaticalization path (the Progressive-to-Imperfective shift) that constraints the possibilities of variation, showing that this holds true in different dialectal varieties of this language.

On the other hand, in the talk at UPV/EHU, Martín presented the results of experimental tasks that provided support for his hypotheses regarding the causes of meaning change within the Spanish Imperfective domain. He showed that the process of categoricalization (i.e., the loss of a progressive reading by a general imperfective marker) is driven by specific cognitive and communicative pressures related to optimizing the tension between linguistic economy and linguistic expressivity, while the process of generalization (i.e., the emergence of habitual readings in a progressive marker) is driven by the contrastive informativity strength associated with the auxiliary verb (estar), which is part of the progressive periphrasis in Spanish.

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