Institutt for fremmedspråk

The Development of Progressive Constructions in Germanic and Romance Languages

Open Questions and Current Research


The present workshop contributes to our understanding of the progressive aspect by investigating progressive constructions in Germanic and Romance languages, such as Spanish “estoy haciendo”, French “Je suis en train de faire”, or English “I am doing”.
Did these forms emerge independently of each other? Have they influenced each other, and are they increasingly doing so in our globalised world?

The largely unexplored intersection of language contact and grammaticalization in the development of these forms will be investigated by analysing corpus data from different Germanic and Romance languages. At the same time, attention will also be paid to differences between specific languages and to internal diachronic developments which are independent of European linguistic convergence. Thus this workshop is expected to result in further dissemination of advanced knowledge concerning the use of corpora in historical linguistic research.

Participants will adopt different perspectives on the development, spread, use, variation, and loss of progressive constructions in different languages. Attendance is free and open to everyone. If you wish to attend, please send an email to contact_and_change@uib.no no later than Wednesday 22 September. You will receive a reply containing information about joining the meeting.


9.00 Room opens

9.15 Welcome and short introduction

Chair: Dagmar Haumann (UiB)

09.30 Teresa Fanego (University of Santiago de Compostela), English progressive(s) and the typological shift from bounded to unbounded discourse [Abstract]

10.00 Gjertrud Stenbrenden (Inland Norway University of Applied Sciences), Progressive aspect in English: Developments in early Middle English [Abstract]

10.30 Rebecka Nordenlöw (Jesus College, University of Cambridge), The loss of being + V-ing [Abstract]

11.00 Coffee break

Chair: Alessandro Carlucci (UiB)

11.20 Jerzy Nykiel (UiB), Factors behind the incipient grammaticalization of the progressive constructions alternative to be + V-ing in English [Abstract]

11.50 Leela Azorin (Ecole Normale Supérieure of Paris-Saclay) and Laure Lansari (University of Paris), How progressive is the new construction gonna + progressive infinitive? [Abstract]

12.20 Paula Rautionaho (Tampere University), Revisiting the myth of stative progressives in world Englishes [Abstract]

12.50-14.00 Lunch break

Chair: Kari Kinn (UiB)

14.00 Koenraad De Smedt (UiB), Progressive aspect in Norwegian: A preliminary corpus study [Abstract]

14.30 Christopher Pountain (Queen Mary, University of London), The Spanish progressives: Linguistic exploitation of a maverick category? [Abstract]

15.00 Short break

Chair: Koenraad De Smedt (UiB)

15.15 Stefano Ondelli (University of Trieste), The progressive construction stare + gerund in the Italian novel 1800-2000 [Abstract]

15.45 Lorella Viola (University of Luxembourg), “I’m just feeling like it”. On the relationship between the use of the progressive and sentiment polarity in Italian [Abstract]

16.15-17.00 General discussion

Please see this document for information about the speakers and other participants.