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"Buenos dias", "buenas noches" -- this was the first words in a foreign language I heard in my life, as a three-year old boy growing up in developing post-war Western Germany, where the first gastarbeiters had arrived from Spain. Fascinated by the strange sounds, I tried to get to know some more languages, the only opportunity being TV courses of English and French -- there was no foreign language education for pre-teen school children in Germany yet in those days. Read more

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Dissertation Information

Title: Verbal Periphrases in Spanish and Romanian. A contrastive study Add Dissertation
Author: Mihaela Topor Update Dissertation
Email: click here to access email
Degree Awarded: Universitat de Lleida , Teoria del text i el seu context
Completed in:
Linguistic Subfield(s): Translation
Subject Language(s): Romanian
Director(s): Ana Fernández Montraveta
Gloria Vázquez García

Abstract: The aim of this doctoral dissertation is to carry out a contrastive study of the
verbal periphrases (VP) of Spanish and Romanian, regarding the degree of
grammaticalization, on the one hand, and the types of use restrictions, on the
other. As regards the first aspect, it has been shown that the VP of Spanish have
a higher degree of grammaticalization than Romanian PV. With respect to the
second, we highlight that Romanian has more restrictions on the semantic type
of the verb that can be combined or as to the mode and tense in which the
auxiliary verb is conjugated.

First, we focus on the review of the concept of PV, the terminology and the
formal and semantic properties of these biverbal constructions. We then proceed
to the evaluation of the criteria typically used to identify a PV. We conclude with
the validation of ten of the fifteen evaluated criteria. To this end, we argue that the
validity of a criterion is not determined solely by the fact that it can not be
successfully applied in a non-periphrastic construction, but also by the ability to
reveal in the verbal complex one or more grammaticalization related properties.

Since the main semantics division is between aspectual and modal auxiliaries, in
Chapters 3 and 4 we review the major classifications that have been made in the
field of these semantic categories in order to establish our own aspectual and
modal classification.

In Chapter 5 we describe in detail 44 constructions considered as periphrastic in
Spanish based on previously validated criteria. The description contains the
temporal and actional constraints and the capacity of the auxiliary to appear
alongside other PV (recursion). Finally, we present the translation into Romanian.

In Chapter 6, prior to the conclusions, we analyze 24 of the Romanian VP, most
of them equivalent to Spanish VP. We follow the same procedure as in the case
of the Spanish PV, using the same criteria and highlighting all kinds of

The work is accompanied by five appendices. The first contains the description
of the lexicographic tool that enables the development of a dictionary of Spanish-
Romanian VP, presented separately in electronic format. The second and the
third appendix contain the compilations of VP in both languages, constructed
from VP studies of a number of authors. Finally, appendices A and B, also
presented in electronic form, contain the examples of corpora related to each of
the Spanish and Romanian VP, respectively.