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Grammaticalization in action and beyond

The emergence of en plan as a pragmatic marker in 21st century Spanish

In: International Review of Pragmatics
Authors:
Florencio del Barrio de la Rosa Università Ca’ Foscari-Venezia Italy Venice

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https://orcid.org/0000-0002-6008-1004
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Ignacio Arroyo Hernández Università Ca’ Foscari-Venezia Italy Venice

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https://orcid.org/0000-0002-5977-2924
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Abstract

As a result of the rapid development of en plan in contemporary Spanish a wide range of recent studies have paid attention to the grammaticalization process transforming this adverbial locution (meaning ‘in a certain way, with a certain purpose’) into a pragmatic marker. However, previous research fails to capture the complex semantic networks and synchronic multifunctionality of en plan. The present study takes on a polygrammaticalization mechanism and describes two main sets of clines. The first set of clines concerns the evolution of en plan into a mitigation device; the second set deals with its grammaticalization as an intensifier. Moreover, the recently defined discursive mechanism of cooptation is thoroughly applied for the first time to Spanish. The contribution deals with written and oral data from different geographical varieties and gives support to a “grammaticalization-cooptation-grammaticalization” hypothesis in the emergence of en plan as a brand-new pragmatic marker in Spanish.

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