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Aspectual Para in Paraguayan Spanish Directive Clauses

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Colloquial Paraguayan Spanish exhibits an innovative use of the preposition para in directive constructions that is related to the Guaraní prospective complementizer haguã. Through a process of grammatical replication (Heine and Kuteva, 2005), para has acquired an aspectual function not evident in Normative Spanish. This semantic and grammatical shift is motivated by the intersecting semantic components of the forward projection of para and the prospectivity of haguã, whereby two new use patterns [para + infinitive] and [para que + subjunctive verb] employ the syntactic rules of Spanish to replicate the prospectivity of the Guaraní source, resulting in the abandonment of the prepositive function of para in certain contexts in favor of an overt aspectual role. This study analyzes internal and external forces that make this grammaticalization process possible in the context of extensive contact between Spanish and Guaraní in Paraguay.

Affiliations: 1: a) Colorado State University, ; 2: b) University of New Mexico,


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