The Evolution of Complex Spatial Expressions within the Romance Family

A Corpus-Based Study of French and Italian


In The Evolution of Complex Spatial Expressions within the Romance Family, Thomas Hoelbeek offers a corpus-based historical study of a group of expressions in French and Italian. Applying a functional approach, he tackles adpositions containing the French noun travers or the Italian noun traverso, previously never analysed from a diachronic perspective.

This study enriches our knowledge of the expressions analysed and their functioning in the past, but also in present-day French and Italian, providing diachronic observations regarding functional notions put to the test. Thomas Hoelbeek’s work also contributes to a better understanding of the grammaticalisation mechanisms of complex constructions, and shows that typologically related languages may evolve differently in their ways of representing space.
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Biographical Note

Thomas Hoelbeek, Ph.D. (2014), Vrije Universiteit Brussel/Université Libre de Bruxelles, is currently Maître de Langue within the Faculty Solvay Brussels School of Economics and Management at the Université Libre de Bruxelles. He has published various articles on the semantic evolution of complex spatial expressions in French, including A diachronic analysis of French "à/au travers" in combination with the preposition "de" (2015).


All interested in the evolution of Romance languages and more specifically anyone concerned with complex expressions, spatial semantics, grammaticalisation theory and cross-linguistic analyses.


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