Allative to purposive grammaticalisation: A quantitative story of Spanish para

Rena Torres Cacoullos, Joseph Bauman

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapter

4 Scopus citations


The Spanish preposition para arises from fusion of older por followed by a, via usage-based chunking (Bybee, 2010) associated with the frequency of the sequence. At an early stage, semantic compositionality involving an independent meaning contribution from the preposition a is discernible in allative uses with a destination that is a person. A general decline of allative uses of para with a nominal complement, for both person and place destinations, ensues after the 14th century. In a second change beginning in the 18th century, para replaces por with infinitive complements to become the majority purposive variant. Thus, allative-to-purposive grammaticalisation (Heine & Kuteva, 2002) occurs through changes both in para's distribution across contexts and in its variation with the older preposition.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Title of host publicationStudies in Historical Ibero-Romance Morpho-Syntax
EditorsMiriam Bouzouita, Ioanna Sitaridou, Enrique Pato
PublisherJohn Benjamins Publishing Company
Number of pages27
ISBN (Electronic)9789027200457
StatePublished - 2018

Publication series

NameIssues in Hispanic and Lusophone Linguistics
ISSN (Print)2213-3887

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Language and Linguistics
  • Linguistics and Language


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