Paradigms as triggers of semantic change: Demonstrative adverbs in Catalan and Spanish

Manuel Pérez Saldanya


This paper sets out to analyse the development of demonstrative adverbs of place in Catalan and Spanish. The main questions dealt with in this study are the following: (i) why two-term and three-term deictic systems often display a certain lack of stability so that diachronically two-term systems sometimes become three-term (as in old Catalan and Spanish) or, the other way round, three-term systems become two-term (like in late Latin and in Catalan during the modern era); (ii) if the most normal and expected development is for deictic systems to take on anaphoric values, why in the case of the adverb aquí (‘near the speaker and/or addressee’) in Catalan and the adverb ahí (‘near the addressee’) in Spanish the opposite process happens; (iii) what role is played in these changes by the functional and formal relations set up within the paradigms of nominal and adverbial demonstratives in each language.


spatial deictic systems; adverbial demonstratives; anaphora; grammaticalisation, paradigm relationships

Full Text:

Copyright (c) 2015 Manuel Pérez-Saldanya