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Auxiliary selection: Gradience and gradualness

Wann 21.06.2012 um 09:00 bis
23.06.2012 um 22:00
Wo Sitzungssaal Dekanat, Werthmannstraße 8
Teilnehmer nach Anmeldung
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Since the establishment of Sorace’s (2000 et passim) influential Auxiliary Selection Hierarchy (ASH), the question of variation in intransitive perfect auxiliary selection has received much interest. Especially in the context of participles formed from stative verbs, both intra- and interlinguistic variation regarding the selection of HAVE and BE has been attested. For verbs from semantic classes non-prototypical for BE-­selection, children acquire BE-­selection later, and dialectal variation is stronger. Moreover, these  verbs have been shown to be more susceptible to diachronic expansion processes of the HAVE-auxiliary, for instance, in Catalan (Mateu 2009), Neapolitan (Cennamo 2007), and Spanish (Aranovich 2003). In this workshop, the question will be explored whether the diachronic graduality of expansion processes of the HAVE-auxiliary can be seen as the motivating factor of the synchronic gradience in auxiliary selection demonstrated by the ASH. Recently, the interplay between graduality and gradience has been shown to be a determining factor in diachronic processes (Traugott & Trousdale 2010): synchronic variation can be regarded to be the result of diachronic gradualness. This means that in order to explain the synchronic variation regarding auxiliary selection genuine diachronic processes have to be considered. On the one hand, the synchronic gradience of auxiliary selection in certain verb classes may be a direct result of her diachronic expansion process of HAVE. On the other hand, frequency effects (especially, conserving effects) may play a role in this diachronic process and its synchronic result. This agenda presupposes quantitative evidence from authentic data for the directionality of the expansion process of HAVE (cf. the criticism by Rodríguez Molina 2006 for Spanish). Moreover, the diachronic study of auxiliary selection has to take into account factors influencing auxiliary selection that operate on the sentence level like the “irrealis effect” (McFadden & Alexiadou 2010). In uniting experts working on auxiliary selection in a variety of Indo-European languages, the workshop thus aims at reaching a unified description of auxiliary selection at both the synchronic and diachronic level.


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Friday, June 22

09:00 Rolf Kailuweit & Malte Rosemeyer (University of Freiburg)

  • Introduction

09:15 Antonella Sorace (University of Edinbourg)

  • The cognitive complexity of auxiliary selection: From online processing to grammaticality judgments

10:00 Pierre Don Giancarli (University of Poitiers)

  • Auxiliary selection with intransitive and reflexive verbs: The limits of gradience

10:45 Coffee break
11:15 Thomas McFadden (University of Tromsø)

  • The interplay of auxiliaries and participial structures in Old English

12:00 Ida Larsson (University of Göteborg)

  • The HAVE/BE alternation in the history of Scandinavian - Tense, aspect and unaccusatives

12:45 Lunch break
14:30 Peter Öhl (University of Freiburg)

  • Periphrasis as precursor of analytic inflection. BE and HAVE in the (pre-)history of German

15:15 Melitta Gillmann (University of Hamburg)

  • Gradience in auxiliary selection within closely related languages: The case of German and Dutch

16:00 Coffee break
16:30 Rolf Kailuweit (University of Freiburg)

  • 'To have' or 'to be' in contemporary French – Some remarks on the auxiliary selection hierarchy analysis

17:15 Steffen Heidinger (University of Graz)

  • Remarks on the conventionalization and restriction of French être 'be' as a perfect auxiliary: Intransitive motion verbs in the 16th, 17th and 18th century

18:00 Session ends


Saturday, June 23

09:00 Malte Rosemeyer (University of Freiburg)

  • How frequency generates frequency: Conserving effects in the history of Spanish auxiliary selection

09:45 Artemis Alexiadou (University of Stuttgart)

  • On the irrealis effect on auxiliary selection

10:30 Coffee break
11:00 Cristina Sánchez Marco (Pompeu Fabra University)

  • The gradualness of change in auxiliary selection: Evidence from Spanish

11:45 Jaume Mateu (Autonomous University of Barcelona)

  • Diachronic and synchronic evidence for a constructional approach to auxiliary selection

12:30 Lunch break
14:15 Michela Cennamo (University of Napoli Federico II)

  • Aspectual and thematic constraints on auxiliary selection and split intransitivity: Synchronic and diachronic aspects in Italo-Romance

15:00  Michele Loporcaro (University of Zurich)

  • Variation and change in Romance perfective auxiliation: Syntax and semantics

15:45 Coffee break
16:15 Abschlussdiskussion

17:00 Rolf Kailuweit & Malte Rosemeyer (University of Freiburg)

  • Concluding remarks

17:15 Farewell



  • Aranovich, Raúl (2003): "The semantics of auxiliary selection in Old Spanish", in: Studies in Language 27 (1), 1-37.
  • Cennamo, Michela (2008): "The rise and development of analytic perfects in Italo- Romance", in: Thórhallur Eythórsson, ed.: Grammatical change and linguistic theory: the Rosendal papers. Amsterdam, Philadelphia: John Benjamins, 115-142.
  • Mateu, Jaume (2009): "Gradience and auxiliary selection in Old Catalan and Old Spanish", in: Paola Crisma and Giuseppe Longobardi, eds.: Historical Syntax and Linguistic Theory. Oxford: Oxford University Press, 176-193.
  • McFadden, Thomas and Artemis Alexiadou (2010): "Perfects, resultatives and auxiliaries in Early English", in: Linguistic Inquiry 41 (3), 389–425.
  • Rodríguez Molina, Javier (2006): "Ser + participio en español antiguo: perífrasis resultativa, no tiempo compuesto", in: José Jesus Bustos Tovar and José Luis Girón Alchonchel, eds.: Actas del VI Congreso Internacional de Historia de la Lengua Española. Madrid: Arco Libros. II, 1059-1072.
  • Sorace, Antonella (2000): "Gradients in Auxiliary Selection with Intransitive Verbs", in: Language 76 (4), 859-890.
  • Traugott, Elizabeth Closs and Graeme Trousdale, eds. (2010): Gradience, Gradualness and Grammaticalization. Amsterdam, Philadelphia: John Benjamins.