Focusing on the interplay of aspect and actionality (Aktionsart) in the grammaticalization process, this monographs presents a detailed synchronic and diachronic examination of the semantics of various Romance verbal periphrases. It is shown that as a verbal periphrasis is being grammaticalized, actional restrictions are gradually loosened, and the semantics shifts from the domain of actionality to that of aspect. These processes are important both for an understanding of the Romance data and, more importantly, for a general understanding of the historical development of aspect. Given the usually one-way nature of grammaticalization processes, this volume provides a more powerful tool for plotting directions of change where direct historical evidence is lacking. Based on extensive corpora, the work covers a wide range of Romance `aspectual' periphrases, thus also providing an important database for several Romance languages, including dialects and regional varieties, and periods. Introductory descriptions of the relevant periphrases and complete English translations of all examples are provided, thus making the book equally accessible to Romance specialists and to general linguists.