Article
Diacronia 6, September 30, 2017, A88 (1–20)doi:10.17684/i6A88en

The auxiliary of the Romanian conditional: semantic and functional arguments concerning the reconstruction of a disputed grammaticalization process

Rodica Zafiu

Affiliations

  • Faculty of Letters, University of Bucharest, Str. Edgar Quinet 5–7, Sector 1, 010017 Bucharest, Romania
  • “Iorgu Iordan – Al. Rosetti” Institute of Linguistics, Calea 13 Septembrie 13, 050711 Bucharest, Romania

History

Received July 12, 2017
Accepted August 16, 2017
Published September 30, 2017

Key words

historical grammar
diachrony

Abstract

This paper aims at demonstrating the explanatory advantages of the old hypothesis concerning the origins of the auxiliary of the Romanian analytic conditional ( + infinitive) as deriving from the imperfect tense form of the verb (a) vrea ‘(to) want’ < *volere (< VELLE). The grammaticalization process, reconstructed through the comparison with the other Romance languages and by relating it to typical directions of the linguistic change, presupposes intermediary semantic phases (the future-in-the-past value, the hypothetical value which is mostly counter-factual), whose traces may be found in the first Romanian (translated) texts, but which have been generally considered a consequence of the simple loan translation from the language source. The uses of the conditional with a reduced auxiliary (, ai, etc. + infinitive) are related to those (co-occurring in the old texts) of the conditional with a recognisable auxiliary (vrea ‘wanted’ + infinitive), for which the value specific to the first grammaticalization stage is still strong—that of a future-in-the past. The text also puts forth an explanation for the atypical forms within the paradigm of the conditional auxiliary—aș(i), ar(ă)—through the overlap between the forms of the imperfect and the simple past of the verb (a) vrea ‘(to) want’.

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    Text:Zafiu, R. (2017). The auxiliary of the Romanian conditional: semantic and functional arguments concerning the reconstruction of a disputed grammaticalization process, Diacronia 6 (September 30), A88 (1–20), http://dx.doi.org/10.17684/i6A88en
    BibTeX:@ARTICLE{zafiu2017,
     author = {Rodica Zafiu},
     title = {The auxiliary of the Romanian conditional: semantic and functional arguments concerning the reconstruction of a disputed grammaticalization process},
     journal = {Diacronia},
     ISSN = {2393-1140},
     year = {2017},
     month = {September},
     number = {6},
     eid = {A88},
     doi = {10.17684/i6A88en},
     pages = "(1–20)",
     url = {http://www.diacronia.ro/journal/issue/6/A88/en}
    }

Copyright

© 2017 The Authors. Publishing rights belong to the Journal. The article is freely accessible under the terms and conditions of the CC-BY Open Access licence.

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