Title

The parar + gerund construction in Peruvian Spanish: An analysis of the habitual gerund

Subject Area

Hispanic Linguistics

Abstract

Several descriptive and theoretical studies have focused on Spanish verbal compound constructions, especially those that include the gerund. In this paper, I contribute to this discussion by linguistically describing the parar + gerund construction, focusing on its uses and its restrictions (both in form and meaning). An example of this construction is presented in (1):

(1) Ella para leyendo

She stop-3SG-present read-GER

‘She is constantly reading’

Although the canonical meaning of the verb parar is ‘to stop’, this verbal compound construction implies that the subject is constantly performing an action (in this case, reading). There appear to be syntactic restrictions on this construction. It occurs with the imperfective verbal forms—that is, with present indicative or imperfect forms. As example (2) shows, the use of the preterit with this gerund construction results in an anomaly.

(2) ? Ella paró leyendo

She stop-3SG-preterit read-GER

In terms of its semantic interpretations, I claim that this gerund construction indicates that the repetition of the event characterizes the subject. Thus, in (1), the gerund construction implies not only that she reads habitually, but rather that she is a constant reader, and the act of reading characterizes her; in other words, reading is all she does. The data presented in this paper come primarily from television and radio programs, as well as from social media outlets. In sum, the present study contributes to Spanish dialectology by describing and situating this unique gerund construction within the larger discussion of gerund use in Spanish.

Brief Bio Note

Miguel Garcia is an Assistant Professor at Georgia Southern University. He earned his Ph.D. in Hispanic Linguistics from The Ohio State University. His primary areas of research include phonetics, intonational phonology, and dialectology with a focus on Peruvian Spanish (in Lima and the Amazonian region).

Keywords

Peruvian Spanish, Dialectology

Location

Room 218

Presentation Year

March 2017

Start Date

3-23-2017 11:25 AM

Embargo

11-4-2016

This document is currently not available here.

Share

COinS
 
Mar 23rd, 11:25 AM

The parar + gerund construction in Peruvian Spanish: An analysis of the habitual gerund

Room 218

Several descriptive and theoretical studies have focused on Spanish verbal compound constructions, especially those that include the gerund. In this paper, I contribute to this discussion by linguistically describing the parar + gerund construction, focusing on its uses and its restrictions (both in form and meaning). An example of this construction is presented in (1):

(1) Ella para leyendo

She stop-3SG-present read-GER

‘She is constantly reading’

Although the canonical meaning of the verb parar is ‘to stop’, this verbal compound construction implies that the subject is constantly performing an action (in this case, reading). There appear to be syntactic restrictions on this construction. It occurs with the imperfective verbal forms—that is, with present indicative or imperfect forms. As example (2) shows, the use of the preterit with this gerund construction results in an anomaly.

(2) ? Ella paró leyendo

She stop-3SG-preterit read-GER

In terms of its semantic interpretations, I claim that this gerund construction indicates that the repetition of the event characterizes the subject. Thus, in (1), the gerund construction implies not only that she reads habitually, but rather that she is a constant reader, and the act of reading characterizes her; in other words, reading is all she does. The data presented in this paper come primarily from television and radio programs, as well as from social media outlets. In sum, the present study contributes to Spanish dialectology by describing and situating this unique gerund construction within the larger discussion of gerund use in Spanish.