BEGIN / START et leur complémentation : perspective diachronique et synchronique

Abstract : This article proposes to reassess the role of aspectualizers 'begin' and 'start' in view of their evolution and in relation to their to or-ing complementation. The English verb having a great deal of morphological indeterminacy, it should be no surprise that aspectual verbs have developed to such an extent over time. Things looked quite different in Middle English where, except for highly grammaticized gin, the relative morphological richness of the verb certainly explained the limited number of aspectualizers. As verbal inflexions started to disappear and to and-ing complementations started to occupy the slot left vacant by the loss of nominal inflexions, the verb start became a marker of ingressive aspect. But here again, evolution has caused the initial clear-cut semantic distinction between to and-ing to move towards important discursive uses. Even though some subtle semantic differences still emerge today, rather than posit two radically different linguistic operations, it seems more realistic to assess the impact of to and-ing in the overall aspectual system of English and to allow for a certain amount of fuzziness in their distribution.
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  • HAL Id : halshs-01474687, version 1



Eric Corre. BEGIN / START et leur complémentation : perspective diachronique et synchronique. Anglophonia / Caliban, Presse universitaires du Mirail, 2005, 18, pp.159 - 174. ⟨halshs-01474687⟩



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