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On the structure of compound tenses

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If you have a question about this talk, please contact Dr Theresa Biberauer.

The aim of this presentation is to argue for a specific generative syntax analysis for periphrastic (perfect) tenses that will answer both for some synchronic properties of the construction and for its diachronic development. I will first show how my analysis of the Aux+Participle structures can account for certain facts, like, for example, the existence/absence of clitic climbing in Romance, participle fronting in Slavic, and V-fronting orders in North Germanic. Then I will discuss the rise of periphrastic perfects in Romance, which, I will claim, did not arise from the Latin resultative/stative participle construction, as is commonly assumed, although these may have played a role in the change. In my analysis, these constructions arose from the existence of the perfect of Latin deponent verbs, which were always analytic and composed of auxiliary (be)+ participle. This proposal can only make sense if we acknowledge that the syntactic process involved in the relevant structures is one and the same, as I will show in this presentation.

This talk is part of the SyntaxLab series.

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