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Strength union between Sp perfect auxiliary and participle

Discussion in 'Etymology, History of languages and Linguistics (EHL)' started by Beachxhair, Nov 15, 2013.

  1. Beachxhair

    Beachxhair Senior Member

    Manchester UK
    English-England
    In a Romance linguistics lecture at my university, we noted the fact that in the perfect tenses, the adverb comes between auxiliary and participle in French, but this cannot occur in Spanish:

    ’Ya había hablado’ (and not, ’había ya hablado)

    Compared to French, J’avais déjà parlé

    We said that because the adverb cannot break up the auxiliary + lexical participle sequence in Spanish, the union between the auxiliary and lexical verb was stronger in Spanish, but we never explained why.

    Does anyone know why this is? What are the historical reasons for this? I've tried to search for articles written about it on the internet but I can't find any.
     
  2. CapnPrep Senior Member

    France
    AmE
    This sort of syntactic/lexical fusion is a gradual process and can lead to a several distinct morphosyntactic outcomes, so it is to be expected that constraints on intervening material will vary among related languages.

    For an overview of the different configurations found in the Romance compound past tenses, see:
    Abeillé, A. & D. Godard. (2010) "Complex predicates in the Romance languages". In D. Godard (ed.), Fundamental issues in the Romance languages, pp. 107–170. Stanford: CSLI Publications.
     
  3. Quiviscumque

    Quiviscumque Moderator

    Ciudad del paraíso
    Spanish-Spain
    ¿¿¿¿????????

    From Academia's CREA:

    María había ya roto aguas
    Paco había ya devuelto el crédito
    Un teniente había ya bombardeado el palacio

    ...
    and more and more ad infinitum.
     
  4. Beachxhair

    Beachxhair Senior Member

    Manchester UK
    English-England
    Is that the regular usage though, or is ya before auxiliary more common?
     
  5. Ben Jamin Senior Member

    Norway
    Polish
    Maybe there is a tendency to avoid such word order of euphonic reasons?
     
  6. Quiviscumque

    Quiviscumque Moderator

    Ciudad del paraíso
    Spanish-Spain
    Yes, it is much more common before había.
    Moreover, in the present tense it is mandatory: you must say Ya ha venido, or Ha venido ya, never *Ha ya venido.
    Don't ask me why :)
     
  7. Cenzontle

    Cenzontle Senior Member

    English, U.S.
    Here is an interesting graph that shows "ya había" and "había ya" approximately equal in frequency until the mid 1880s,
    at which time "ya había" begins to pull far ahead of its competitor.
    (If you follow up for examples you find this one, which seems very strange today: "Su Majestad había ya otras veces dado cuenta...")
    As Quivis says, "*Ha ya venido" doesn't occur today—but in historical texts you can find things like "el marqués ha ya yncurrido en pena de suspension de yndios" (here).
     
  8. Quiviscumque

    Quiviscumque Moderator

    Ciudad del paraíso
    Spanish-Spain
    Yes, diacronically things are even messier. For this reason I quoted from CREA (Corpus de Referencia del Español Actual). Anyway, the apodictic strength of the statement was what caught my attention: "the adverb comes between auxiliary and participle in French, but this cannot occur in Spanish." So stated, it is blatantly false.
     
  9. Beachxhair

    Beachxhair Senior Member

    Manchester UK
    English-England
    I had never encountered auxiliary + adverb + participle in Spanish, and so I assumed that in the contemporary language, this construction was 'odd' or avoided. Perhaps I should have said 'does not often occur'.
     
  10. Beachxhair

    Beachxhair Senior Member

    Manchester UK
    English-England
    Thank you. My real question was why this might have been the case; why were the fluctuations between the two structures throughout the history of Spanish, and why has the construction where the adverb doesn't intercalate the auxiliary and participle 'prevailed'?

    If anyone knows of any articles about this, and could post a link, I'd be grateful.:)
     

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