Grammaticalization in the Evidential pathway of the Andean Spanish Present Perfect

Language contact as a trigger for language change



This work examines the development of the Spanish Present Perfect (PP) in an excolonial region where Spanish is in contact with Amerindian languages and argues for the inclusion of linguistic factors connected to ‘subjectivity’ and ‘information structure’ in the study of the PP, alongside the traditional temporal and aspectual factors. Perfects in the world’s languages derive from three main sources (BE/HAVE, COME, FINISH, Bybee, Perkins & Pagliuca 1994), but HAVE perfects (e.g., Spanish) are considered the least common pattern (WALS, Dahl & Velupillai 2013; Drinka 2017). Bybee et al. (1994) posit that only the stative source branches into two distinct grammaticalization pathways of the PP: the temporal (towards past/perfective) or the evidential (leading to (in)direct evidential). There are exceptions to the temporal pathway in Romance: Daca-Romanian (Drinka 2017), Judeo-Spanish (Varol 2006), and Andean Spanish varieties (Escobar & Crespo del Río 2021) are argued to follow the evidential path that is in each case triggered by contact with a language or languages of families (Turkic or Quechumaran) that have evidential markers. Through detailed grammatical analyses of data from semi-structured conversations, the effects of subjectivity and information structure on the grammaticalization pathway of the PP in Andean Spanish varieties are established.


present perfect, evidentiality, grammaticalization, language contact, Quechua, Spanish, Andean


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