Saliency in the morphology and modern co-occurrence of the simple and compound past tenses in Spanish and French
Surber, Gloria Beth
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The present study analyzes simple (SP) and compound (CP) past tense co-occurrence in Spanish and French sports journalism to evaluate the saliency of the relevance of information presented in CP as a factor in CP grammaticalization in the Romance languages. The Latin structure habere + past participle became a past tense through a shift in how speakers emphasize their perception of a past situation’s relevance to the present. This results in the contextual salience of CP in co-occurrence with SP in Spanish and French sports journalism, which dimensionalizes information to create a psychological impact on the reader. This suggests the present relevance associated with CP, as demonstrated in functions such as hot news, as a principle factor in the morphological tendency of CP toward more perfective value, and as a possible influence toward further developments in the compound past in Spanish and French.