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Pseudo-copular use of the Spanish verbs ponerse and quedarse: two types of change

Lise Van Gorp

Résumés

La présente contribution aborde la relation pseudo-copulative de changement exprimée par les verbes espagnols ponerse (‘mettre-réfl’) et quedarse (‘rester-réfl, être situé-réfl’) du point de vue de la grammaire cognitive. D’après le postulat qu’à toute différence de forme correspond une différence de sens, chaque verbe est censé refléter une conception différente du changement. Pour saisir les différences conceptuelles entre les deux verbes, il convient de prendre en compte ce que chaque verbe signifie à la base, c’est-à-dire, en dehors de la construction pseudo-copulative. L’analyse montre que la structure sémantique du verbe persiste en partie dans son emploi pseudo-copulatif: ponerse conserve la vision dynamique du sujet qui passe à un nouvel état; quedarse, par contre, exprime le résultat statique d’un changement attribuable à une séparation, une perte ou un isolement. L’étude s’appuie sur un corpus de prose espagnole contemporaine.

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1. Introduction1

  • 1 The research reported in this article was supported by the Research Foundation ‒ Flanders (FWO). My (...)
  • 2 Pseudo-copulas share with prototypical copulas the need to be completed by a predicate (Juan se pus (...)

1Everyday life is full of changes of all kinds. Given the experiential dimension of language, a whole range of possibilities can be expected to express the different types of changes we are facing daily. For Spanish, three types of constructions are generally recognized: a) the pseudo-copular constructions with so-called “verbs of change” (verbos de cambio),2 b) periphrastic constructions such as llegar a ser (literally ‘arrive to be’), pasar a ser (literally ‘pass to be, come to be’) and c) lexical verbs derived from adjectives such as emborracharse (‘get drunk-refl’, from borracho ‘drunk’), entristecer(se) (‘sadden-(refl), become sad’, from triste ‘sad’).

  • 3 The verbs that belong to the class of pseudo-copular verbs expressing the notion of change are: aca (...)
  • 4 The pseudo-copular use of the non-pronominal form quedar to express a change of state is discussed (...)

2In this contribution we will only focus on one construction type, namely, the pseudo-copular construction.3 More precisely, it is limited to the two pseudo-copulas ponerse (literally 'put-refl') and quedarse (literally ‘be left, remain-refl’/’stay, be situated-refl’). We will not deal with the non-pronominal variant of the latter (namely quedar) as pseudo-copula, which in some cases is also able to denote a change-of-state event.4

3In Section 2, we will briefly review the existing studies devoted to the topic. Next, we will present a hypothesis that deals with the meaning of the verbs and the construction from a cognitive-semantics perspective in order to grasp the conceptual images associated with ponerse and quedarse (Section 3). Subsequently, we will present the empirical evidence on which the analysis is based (Section 4) and verify the adequacy of the proposed conceptual images through a set of representative examples (Section 5). In addition, the alternation between the two verbs with specific types of predicate complements will allow us to illustrate the phenomenon of conceptual accommodation (Section 6), before drawing a brief conclusion (Section 7).

2. Existing studies

  • 5 Examples (1)-(2) are our own examples, the context in (3), on the contrary, comes from the online C (...)

4Within the domain of the pseudo-copular change-of-state verbs, ponerse and quedarse are usually treated together. Both verbs combine with predicate complements that are compatible with the Spanish copula estar (‘be (situational)’) and reject predicate complements that are exclusively compatible with the copula ser (‘be’) (Morimoto & Pavón 2007: 41). However, as they are not synonymous, it is worthwhile investigating what differentiates them. According to several studies, the key factor would be the duration of the change: while ponerse is considered to express a temporary change, i.e., a change of short duration, quedarse is associated with a long standing change, and is assumed to profile the duration of the resulting state (Crespo 1949, Fente 1970, Alba de Diego & Lunell 1988, Porroche Ballesteros 1988). Although this distinction seems relevant in many contexts, such as (1) and (2), it does not hold in cases like (3).5

(1)

Cuando va al médico, se pone nervioso.  

‘When he goes to the doctor, he gets nervous.’

(2)

Después del accidente, se quedó ciego para el resto de su vida.

‘After the accident, he became blind for the rest of his life.’

(3)

-“Hola, pibe, lamento verte aquí.” Te quedaste paralizado, sin querer mirar, porque había reconocido aquella voz inconfundible. ¿Cómo se atrevía?

‘“Hi, son, I regret seeing you here.” You became paralyzed, unwilling to look, because you had recognized that unmistakable voice. How did he dare?’

5The temporary nature of the change-of-state events expressed by ponerse as opposed to the duration of the state resulting from those conveyed by quedarse does not seem to constitute a decisive factor. Cases like (3) in which quedarse is used to express a temporary change-of-state appear not to be exceptional (cf. infra: Section 5, example (16)).

  • 6 It is easy enough to come across counterexamples, e.g. in newspapers: El Barça se pone líder para n (...)
  • 7 “Al contrario, históricamente ponerse significaba más bien un devenir activo. En la actualidad hay (...)

6In addition, with regard to ponerse, many authors emphasize the involuntariness of the subject entity’s involvement in the change-of-state; they note that the change expressed by ponerse is always imposed by external circumstances or provoked by some external agent (Fente 1970, Alba de Diego & Lunell 1988, Eddington 1999, Rodríguez Arrizabalaga 2001, Wesch 2004, Morimoto & Pavón 2007). Concerning this question, Morimoto & Pavón (2007: 45) invoke the incompatibility between the pseudo-copular construction with ponerse and the final clause (para... ‘in order to’) to show that the subject is not able to control the event: *Se puso nervioso para hacer el examen / *‘He got nervous in order to take the exam’. Once again, however, it remains to be seen whether this criterion is relevant and distinctive for defining the use of the pseudo-copula ponerse.6 As observed by Eberenz (1985: 467; translation LVG), “On the contrary, historically ponerse rather meant an active way of becoming. Nowadays there are examples with or without explicit agent. One can “get serious or aggressive” consciously or not”.7

7In example (4), becoming aggressive is conditioned by alcohol consumption (cuando bebe ‘when he drinks’). In (5) on the contrary, the change in behavior is not imposed by external circumstances; it is the very subject referent (2nd person singular, ‘you’) who is seen as initiating the change and controlling the outcome; this is made explicit in the comment cuando quieres ‘when you want’.

(4)

Tú no conoces a Pacheco; cuando bebe se pone violento, agresivo.  

‘You don't know Pacheco; when he drinks he becomes violent, aggressive.’

(5)

-Y ella: “No seas idiota, se me olvidaba que cuando quieres puedes llegar a ponerte cursi” […].

‘And she: “Don’t be stupid, I forgot that when you want, you can get (literally ‘arrive’) to become snooty” […].’

8While it is true that the examples in which the change occurs unintentionally represent the prototypical case, this does not preclude the subject entity’s involvement as conscious experiencer. The focus on the subject’s internal dynamics can even be considered the raison d’être of the use of the reflexive marker, which assimilates the verb’s construction to that of the ‘middle voice’ as defined by Maldonado (1999: 15-16) (cf. infra, Section 5.1).

9Insofar as the features put forward in the literature fall short of explaining quite a few of the uses of ponerse and quedarse, it seems convenient to adopt a different approach to deal with these constructions. Bybee & Eddington (2006) (based on Eddington 1999, 2002), instead of searching for general categorical features that could be distinctive, rely on the frequency and exemplarity of some adjectival and prepositional predicates that occur with the four most frequently used change-of-state verbs, namely, hacerse ‘to make-refl’, volverse ‘to return-refl’, ponerse ‘to put-refl’ and quedarse ‘to stay-refl’. Focusing on the way in which speakers categorize these adjectives into semantically related clusters, they claim that the expression of change-of-state in Spanish is highly conventionalized. It should be noted, however, that they “have found the adjective categories interesting in their own right and leave further specification of the verbs’ meanings for future study” (Bybee & Eddington 2006: 334). Their results regarding ponerse and quedarse are broadly in line with ours: ponerse frequently collocates with the adjectives nervioso ‘nervous’, serio ‘serious’, pesado ‘annoying’, bonito ‘pretty’, mal ‘sick’ and contento ‘happy’, as well as with semantically related adjectives (rojo ‘red’, solemne ‘solemn’, inaguantable ‘intolerable’, feo ‘ugly’, enfermo ‘sick’, etc.). The verb quedarse has as usual collocates the adjectives solo ‘alone’, quieto ‘calm’, sorprendido ‘surprised’, triste ‘sad’ and semantically related adjectives (soltero ‘single’, tranquilo ‘peaceful’, estupefacto ‘stupified’, nostálgico ‘nostalgic’, etc.), as well as adjectives which denote a physical state in general (ciego ‘blind’, embarazada ‘pregnant’, etc.).

10The fundamental question, however, remains unanswered: why does the language user tend to use, for example, ponerse in combination with nervioso ‘nervous’ and quedarse with solo ‘alone’? The purpose of the present contribution therefore consists in shedding light on what motivates the use of these verbs in those specific contexts of change.

3. Hypothesis: two different conceptualizations

11In what follows, we will focus on the meaning import of the verb in profiling the change-of-state process. Relying on the cognitive grammar assumption that a difference in form yields a difference in meaning or ‘construal’, i.e., in the way a situation is represented (cf. Verhagen 2007: 48, Langacker 2008: 4), we hypothesize that each verb conveys its own conceptualization of the notion of change. Furthermore, we will argue that the individual conceptualization originates from the source semantics of the verb, i.e., that it is related to the basic meaning(s) the verb has outside the pseudo-copular construction.

  • 8 As defined by Traugott (2003: 645), grammaticalization is a “process whereby lexical material in hi (...)
  • 9 “Los verbos semicopulativos [o pseudocopulativos] proceden de verbos plenos a través de procesos de (...)
  • 10 On the different parameters or criteria of grammaticalization, see Lehmann (1982) and Hopper (1991) (...)

12Our starting point is that the pseudo-copulas ponerse and quedarse result from the grammaticalization8 of the corresponding lexical verbs poner ‘put’ and quedar(se) ‘be left, remain / stay, be situated’ respectively. The new reference grammar of the Real Academia Española puts it this way: “The semi-copular [or pseudo-copular] verbs derive from full verbs through processes of grammaticalization” (RAE-ASALE 2009: 2836; translation LVG).9This view is also shared by, e.g., Alba de Diego & Lunell (1988: 345), Marín (2000: 156), and Morimoto & Pavón (2007: 12). In our view, however, the (relative) grammaticalization of their pseudo-copular use is not to be equated with total desemanticization. For the synchronic analysis of the pseudo-copulas ponerse and quedarse, we attribute a crucial role to Hopper’s (1991) parameter of persistence:10

  • 11 Hopper’s criterion of persistence is often called lexical persistence. However, following Verveckke (...)

13When a form undergoes grammaticization from a lexical to a grammatical function, so long as it is grammatically viable some traces of its original lexical meanings tend to adhere to it, and details of its lexical history may be reflected in constraints on its grammatical distribution (1991: 22).11

  • 12 Although Bybee and Eddington (2006: 349-350) briefly invoke the original meaning of quedar(se) and (...)

14In other words, the basic meaning(s) and conceptual image the verb presents outside the pseudo-copular construction will (partially) determine the resulting pseudo-copular use.12 By privileging the relational dimension in the use of ponerse and quedarse, we intend to capture the conceptual image of the change event associated with each verb.

  • 13 Although the change of position expressed by poner supposes motion, only a very short and brief mov (...)

15The first step consists in going back to the (prototypical) basic meaning(s) the verbs have outside the pseudo-copular construction. Poner ‘put’ is transitive and expresses a causative placement or positioning event: situar a alguien o algo en el lugar adecuado ‘to situate someone or something in the right place’ (it is also the first entry in the Diccionario de la Lengua Española, the reference dictionary of the Royal Spanish Academy (henceforth DRAE). In this caused motion, neither directionality nor trajectory is implied, only the final location is expressed.13 Depending on the context, the verb may alternate with verbs like colocar ‘place’ or situar ‘situate’.

  • 14 Note that the spatial sense of the lexical verb quedar(se) can be expressed both by the non-pronomi (...)

16Quedar(se), for its part, is intransitive and prototypically denotes a static localization event (‘stay, be situated’). The event is considered static because the localization is that of an entity remaining somewhere without moving, i.e. there is neither motion nor displacement.14 In the grammaticalization of quedar(se) as pseudo-copula of change, we will argue that, next to its locative meaning, a central role is to be attributed to its partitive meaning, which can be defined as: subsistir, permanecer o restar parte de algo ‘subsist, remain or be left part of something’ (cf. the second entry in the dictionary DRAE).

17In Section 5, we will see that these meaning components live on in the conceptualizations associated with the types of change events expressed in the pseudo-copular use of ponerse and quedarse.

4. Corpus

18The validation of the hypothesis requires the examination of a variety of contexts for each verb in order to verify to what extent the basic uses and conceptual images associated with (lexical) poner and quedar(se) persist in the change events expressed by the pseudo-copular construction. The data for the analysis were drawn from the online Corpus de Referencia del Español Actual (CREA) of the Real Academia Española (RAE), which is largely recognized as one of the most representative databases for present-day Spanish. In order to avoid mixing up different language varieties, the empirical evidence was limited to the subset of data from Spain. In addition, restrictions were also introduced as to genre: we only extracted contexts from novels published in Spain.  As the narrative genre is by definition concerned with change-of-state events, it can be considered to be especially productive when it comes to register physical, mental and emotional changes in characters or to observe how inanimate as well as animate entities evolve in their environment.

  • 15 For a detailed account of the uses and meanings of ponerse and quedarse that are excluded from the (...)
  • 16 To insure statistical validity, the selection procedure –based on the total number of contexts of t (...)

19The first data extraction of ponerse and quedarse yields all uses and meanings of these verbs. In order to keep only the pseudo-copular use of change, we manually excluded the other uses.15 Finally, a random (representative) sample of 800 tokens for each pseudo-copula was retained.16

5. Conceptual image and contextualization

20In this section, we present the conceptual images evoked by the pseudo-copulas of change ponerse and quedarse. As already indicated in Section 3, we argue that the individual conceptualization evolves from the verb’s source semantics and that the pseudo-copular use presents some degree of (conceptual) persistence. Since change is a basic semantic concept that is metaphorical in nature (see Lakoff 1993: 212), the notion of metaphorical mapping will also play a central role in how lexical poner and quedar are used as pseudo-copulas of change.

  • 17 The metaphorical sub-mappings states are locations, changes are movements and causes are forces are (...)

21As suggested by Lakoff (1993), the concept of change is prototypically understood in terms of the conceptual metaphor changes are (self-propelled or forced) movements, which builds on the more general metaphorical mapping states are locations.17 In other words, change of state is change of location, i.e., a movement from one location to another.

  • 18 There is no consensus on the definition and the number of image schemata (Hampe 2005, Oakley 2007: (...)

22In general, conceptual metaphorical mappings are motivated by image schemas. According to Johnson (1987: xiv), an image schema is “a recurring, dynamic pattern of our perceptual interactions and motor programs that gives coherence and structure to our experience”.18 Such prelinguistic structures of experience are projected by metaphor onto abstract domains and can be used for reasoning in many contexts (Johnson 1987: xv). Starting from the path-source-goal image schema and the general metaphor states are locations, for example, we can posit the following mappings to explain the changes are movements metaphor: source (starting location) maps onto initial state (before the change event happened), goal (final location) onto final state (after the change event happened) and motion-along-path onto process-toward-change.

23In what follows, we will first describe the individual conceptualization of the change event associated with ponerse (5.1) and then we will look into the conceptual image imposed by quedarse (5.2).  

5.1 Ponerse: change as entering a new state

  • 19 In his study on the English verb put, Pauwels (1995: 132) states that an example like She put the b (...)

24As already mentioned in Section 3, Spanish poner, which qualifies as the most general placement verb in Spanish (Ibarretxe-Antuñano 2012: 129), denotes a causative placement event. This placement event consists of two phases: first there is an object located in A and then we have that object located in B. It should be noted that poner does not imply a change of localization by means of displacement, but rather a change of reference location, understood as a change of position at a given moment, which occurs instantly and without intermediate steps (Cifuentes Honrubia 1999: 79; see footnote 14). The materialization of a placement event expressed by the verb poner can be visualized by means of a simple example like Juanpone los libros en la mesa ‘Juan puts the books on the table’:19

Figure 1. Visualization of the example ‘Juan puts the books on the table’

25The arrow captures the placement event indicating the transition between moment t1, at which the agent (Juan) holds the books in his hands (position A), and moment t2, at which he has deposited them on the table (position B). The placement event can be considered as the culmination stage in a macro-event of displacement; it can only occur after the agent has taken control over the object. At a previous moment –t0 in Figure 1– the books are assumed to have been picked up from a previous location, somewhere scattered on the floor, for instance. The location in t0 is presupposed, yet not part of the verb’s meaning; poner only profiles the transition between t1 and t2. Since abstraction is made of the trajectory and the goal space is bounded, the new position is perceived as being within reach. In other words, unlike other displacement verbs that conform to the typical source-path-goal image schema, poner does not have a path component: the culmination of the placement is immediate. As observed by Pauwels (1995: 132) for the English verb put, the “destination is focused separately in the syntactic structure, and is expressed by means of a prepositional phrase describing a location in the spatial domain”. Similarly, Ibarretxe-Antuñano (2012: 131) argues that “placement events involve a focus on the static endpoint of the action […] speakers do not seem to focus on the trajectory that the Figure follows from the place it occupies before being placed onto the Ground, but on the final stage, i.e., on the Ground it occupies after being moved by the Agent”.

26The projection of this basic meaning of the lexical verb poner, namely, ‘placement or positioning in a goal space’, on the conceptualization corresponding to the pseudo-copulative use of ponerse, can be visualized as follows for a simple example like Juan se pone triste ‘Juan becomes sad’:

Figure 2. Representation of the change expressed by se pone triste ‘he becomes sad’

27Via the metaphorical mapping change of state is change of location (cf. supra), the pseudo-copula ponerse expresses the symbolic localization or placement of the subject entity in a given state. By metaphorical extension, the (mental state) predicate complement is conceived of as a symbolic location, a domain the subject entity has immediate access to. By analogy with the placement expressed by poner, transition from the initial state to the new one is conceived of as direct.

  • 20 In an ‘ergative’ reading, also called ‘inaccusative’, the subject entity is conceived of as spontan (...)
  • 21 The verb in the transitive construction is a predicative one which lexically selects a predicate co (...)
  • 22 “El experimentante no se limita a sufrir un cambio impuesto por una causa abstracta externa, sino q (...)

28As the pseudo-copular construction requires the reflexive form of the verb, it can be analyzed as the ergative20 counterpart of the non-reflexive causative transitive construction with a predicate complement oriented to the direct object, e.g., la noticia le puso triste a Juan ‘the news made Juan sad’.21 The latter indeed occupies the subject position in the corresponding pseudo-copular construction, viz., Juan se puso triste(por la noticia), whereby the cause is (optionally) displayed by means of an adjunct. According to Sánchez López (2002: 81-82), the relation between the intransitive pronominal construction and the transitive non-pronominal one is closely associated with the presence of the clitic se, which serves as a transitivity-reduction element, and indicates that the change affects the subject entity, the only argument of the construction. Although the subject entity is not in full control, it should be noted that its involvement in the process goes beyond that of a mere patient. As stated by Maldonado (1999: 95; translation LVG), “The experiencer does not only suffer a change imposed by an external abstract cause but he/she also participates in the change with his/her emotionality, yet not with his/her rational control”.22 The argument role of the subject entity is typically that of the central participant in the Spanish middle constructions with which it shares the reflexive marker se. There is neither a well-defined patient nor an identifiable agent, yet both semantic functions coexist in a participant whose degree of activity can be called “intermediary” (Maldonado 1999: 97 ff.) and heavily varies in function of the verb and the context.

  • 23 While other displacement verbs conform to the typical source-path-goal image schema, poner does not (...)

29From our data, it appears that ponerse –in line with its source semantics outside the pseudo-copular construction– only profiles the switch to the resultant state (goal) in the change-of-state scenario, as opposed to some other previous relevant state (e.g., joyfulness), which is left implicit. In the same way as the placement verb poner only profiles the moment in which the change of position takes place, i.e., the moment in which the object enters into the final location and starts occupying position B, the pseudo-copula ponerse profiles the moment in which the subject entity undergoes the change-of-state, i.e., the moment in which it enters into the new state and adopts state B. Since no displacement is profiled by poner, the final location (or goal) can be said to be directly obtained without reference to any path.23This explains why, as shown by Morimoto & Pavón (2007: 44-45), the use of ponerse in (6) seems awkward:

(6)

#El corredor presentaba evidente síntomas de gripe y, por fin, a las cinco se puso enfermo y tuvo que abandonar la carrera. (Morimoto & Pavón 2007: 45)

#‘The sprinter presented obvious symptoms of flu and, finally, at five o’clock he got sick and he had to leave the race.’

30The fact that the sprinter already presented some symptoms of flu means that before 5 o’clock the event of getting sick had already started. Since this could be seen as a path towards the final state, using ponerse in this case is not quite adequate. The pseudo-copula ponerse expresses the initial state of the change-event, i.e. the moment of entering the new state, which –by absence of a path– consequently is also the resultant state.

31Therefore, an example like me puse enfermo durante dos días (‘I got sick during two days’), would implythat reference is made to the result of the process, not to the process itself. However, no instances of ponerse in combination with the durative adjunct durante x tiempo (‘during x time’) are found in our corpus. Although entering a specific location (or state in the case of ponerse) does not imply anything about the duration of being in that location, it is clear that, as it profiles the transition, poner(se) thus contrasts with verbs like fijar ‘fix’ or establecer ‘settle’ which are inherently durative. Therefore, we argue that the pseudo-copula ponerse by default denotes temporary change-of-state events and is not able to express the metaphorical localization into an irreversible state (para siempre ‘forever’).

32Since the original use of poner as a placement verb presupposes the existence of an agent who places the object in position B (cf. supra, Figure 1), the transformation process expressed by the pseudo-copula ponerse is prototypically triggered from the outside: the contextual setting usually implies some trigger or motive susceptible to (co-)instigate the change of the subject entity into the new state.

33The metaphorical localization of a subject entity into a different state (of mind) [X] is reflected in examples (7)-(9). In (7), every time the subject entity (yo ‘I’) approaches the image of San Antonio, she adopts for some (temporary yet) indeterminate duration the state of considerable nervousness (me pongo tan nerviosa). As stated above, her previous state of mind is left implicit.

(7)

[…] que uno de esos pájaros había hecho un nido detrás de la imagen de San Antonio. […] Desde entonces, cada vez que me acerco a esa imagen, me parece como si oyera detrás un revoloteo, y me pongo tan nerviosa que me da reparo.

‘[…] that one of those birds had built a nest behind the image of San Antonio. […] Since then, each time I approach that image, I seem to hear some fluttering at the back, and I get so nervousthat it scares me.’

34In example (8) alcohol is claimed to be the external cause of the (physical) state (malísimo ‘sick’) the subject entity (Jesús) is entering into.

(8)

-Tú, Jesús, ten cuidado con lo que bebes, que luego te pones malísimo.

-You, Jesús, be careful with what you drink, because afterwards you get sick.

35In (9), the metaphorical positioning of the subject entity into the state of flushing (rojo ‘red’) is also marked as conditioned (cuando… ‘when…’) and, by way of consequence, as occasional and momentary.

(9)

¡Cuando escuché la primera blasfemia me puse roja como un tomate!

‘When I heard the first abuse, I got as red as a tomato.’

36Our corpus data corroborate the combinatorial preferences noticed by Fente (1970), Porroche Ballesteros (1988) and Bybee & Eddington (2006): 58% of the predicate complements that combine with ponerse denote a state of mind or health (nervioso ‘nervous’, pesado ‘annoying’, mal ‘sick’, enfermo ‘sick’, etc.) or refer to some color (rojo ‘red’, amarillo ‘yellow’, etc.). As states of mind or health prototypically depend on one’s external circumstances and hold for a limited time span, they make for the best fit with the conceptual image imposed by ponerse on a change-of-state event. Analogously, the change of the color (of the skin) of a human being is the result of a reaction of the body to a particular psychological (a strong emotion, an anxiety, …) or psychical (sun exposure, a disease, …) external circumstance (Conde Noguerol 2013: 174) and does not last forever.

37To conclude this section, we list the most common adjectival predicate complements registered in our corpus with the pseudo-copula of change ponerse (Table 1):

Predicate complement

N

Pct.

nervioso ‘nervous’

76

9.5%

serio ‘serious’

32

4%

malo ‘bad’

23

2.9%

enfermo ‘sick’

21

2.6%

pesado ‘annoying’

18

2.3%

colorado ‘red-colored’

17

2.1%

rojo ‘red’

13

1.6%

furioso ‘furious’

12

1.5%

TOTAL

212

26.5%

Table 1. Most common predicates from the corpus of ponerse

38The predicate complements that denote a state of health or refer to some color are classified as physical changes whereas adjectives as nervioso ‘nervous’, serio ‘serious’, etc. profile an emotional or mental state. Ponerse also frequently combines with the adverbial locutions en pie, de pie ‘standing’, expressing a change that affects the posture or corporal position of an animate entity. As bodily states are by default punctual, temporary and conditioned by some external circumstance, they perfectly fit with the conceptual image proposed for the verb ponerse.

5.2 Quedarse: change as the result of a separation or isolation

39As already pointed out in Section 3, the locative meaning expressed by lexical quedar(se) does not imply any motion nor displacement. On the basis of the conceptual metaphor changes are movements, it is not sufficient to invoke the spatial meaning in order to explain the notion of change expressed by the pseudo-copular construction. Starting from the conceptual metaphor states are locations, however, the (durative) spatial meaning of the verb can easily be mapped on the pseudo-copular use of quedarse expressing the permanency in a specific state, i.e., where no change event is involved (e.g. se quedó despierto toda la noche ‘he stayed awake all night’).

  • 24 Alonso (1986: 1534) also refers to the spatial meaning of quedar(se) which became available from th (...)

40It what follows, we argue that the meaning component of ‘change’ expressed by quedarse mainly relates to the partitive meaning that the verb has outside the pseudo-copular construction. According to Alonso (1986: 1534), this meaning appears in medieval Spanish from the 12th century onwards.24

41Although the partitive meaning of quedar only profiles a resultant state, viz., the existence or permanency of something that is left, it also supposes a change with respect to a previous state. In the terms of Langacker (2007: 435), a distinction can be made between profile and base: “Within the array of content it evokes –its conceptual base– an expression designates (i.e., refers to) a particular substructure. This is called its profile. […] the expression serves to single it [the profile] out and focus attention on it”. For example, in soloquedan dos plátanos ‘there are only two bananas left’, the resultant state (profile) presupposes the previous existence of an indeterminate number of bananas (base). Since there is a difference between the total number of bananas at the first moment (t1) and at the second one (t2), it can be said that a change took place. More precisely, the amount of bananas that remains at the second point in time results from the disappearance of some other (indeterminate number of) bananas (between t1 and t2).

  • 25 Note that the durative character commonly attributed to the resultant state (cf. Section 2) can als (...)

42Relying on the partitive relation expressed by the intransitive verb quedar, we postulate that the pseudo-copula quedarse tends to imply some previous relationship with another entity that –prototypically– ‘leaves’ the domain of the subject entity, and that the use of the verb focuses on what ‘remains’ or ’stays behind’. The verb thus profiles the resultant state (final stage) of a prior change event. The idea that the use of quedarse emphasizes the final moment of the change event has already been pointed out by other authors (Fente 1970, Eberenz 1985, Alba de Diego & Lunell 1988), but none of them relates it to the partitive meaning the verb has outside the pseudo-copular construction.25 According to our hypothesis, the pseudo-copular use of quedarse profiles a state that results from a separation or isolation, i.e., from the fact that something has ceased to belong to the subject entity’s domain.  

43This idea of a change resulting from a separation or isolation was already present in the earliest uses of the verb quedarse as a change-of-state verb. In his diachronic study of the construction [quedar(se) + ADJ], Wilson (2009: 94) refers to the adjective solo ‘alone’ as one of the key adjectives “that played a role in how the verb quedar(se) came to be analysed as a verb of ‘becoming’ based on analogy to usages that meant ‘to remain’”. He gives a typical example of the 13th century in which quedar(se) is used with the adjective solo ‘alone’ to denote a change-of-state:

-E el conde quando vio que de otra manera no podia ser sino como queria el comun delos romeros no quiso ay quedar solo & fa zia lo mejor & cogio sus tiendas & fue se empos delos otros. (Gran conquista de Ultramar, anon., 13the c.; Davies 2002)

 ‘And when the count saw that there could be no other way than what the majority of the pilgrims to Rome wanted (it), (he) didn't want to be left aloneand did his best and gathered his tents and went after the others.’

44This example illustrates that:

  • 26 While a diachronic study of how quedarse became used as a pseudo-copula of change goes beyond the p (...)

“[…] the change of state is brought about by the movement of people away from the human subject of the construction. Viewed this way, if the count ‘remains’ he will find himself without his subjects, the pilgrims. By remaining he would undergo a change of state and be left alone and both meanings are present: ‘remaining’ and ‘becoming’” (Wilson 2009: 95).26

45This image also evokes the notion of container as conceptual metaphor and corroborates the idea of Lakoff & Johnson (1980: 29) that, because of our corporality, we prototypically conceive of ourselves as a container: “We are physical beings, bounded and set off from the rest of the world by the surface of our skins, and we experience the rest of the world as outside us. Each of us is a container, with […] in-out orientation.” In the use of the pseudo-copula quedarse, the subject entity can be conceived of as a container affected by a change (in its nature, inside, appearance, etc.), prototypically caused by the disappearance of something that goes out of his domain. The dynamic force that is at the origin of the change is not attributed to the subject entity itself.

46The examples given below are representative of the conceptual image associated with the pseudo-copula quedarse. First, we present some contexts where the use of the verb implies a relationship with a person who separates him-/herself from the domain of the subject entity. Second, we review changes that implicitly relate to a particular property or characteristic that disappears or ceases to belong to the subject entity's domain. In both cases, the use of quedarse highlights the resultant state or what is ‘left’.

47The following examples (10)-(12) involve the disappearance of a person who leaves the domain or the life of the subject entity.

(10)

Después el chico se marchó y me quedé solo y empecé a comprender que todo era un sueño, desde el principio.

‘Afterwards the boy went away and I was left alone and I began to understand that everything was a dream, since the beginning.’

(11)

[…] menos don Julio, que se había quedado viudo y se ponía un botón forrado de tela negra para que se supiera que estaba de luto.

‘[…] Except for Mr. Julio, who had become a widower and wore a clad button of black fabric for the people to know that he was in mourning.’

(12)

[…] por quedarse huérfana [mi madre] muy niña (mis abuelos se ahogaron en un lago suizo mientras hacían un viaje de placer), había vivido en casa de unos tíos [...].

‘[…] since she became orphan [my mother] being a very young child (my grandparents drowned in a Swiss lake while they were making a pleasure trip), she had lived with aunts and uncles [...].’

  • 27 Our corpus also includes some instances with the predicate complements sin (una) madre ‘without (a) (...)

48Example (10) illustrates the common association of quedarse with the adjective solo ‘alone’; el chico se marchó ‘the boy went away’ and the resultant state is that of the subject entity who is left alone. The combination with the adjective solo ‘alone’ represents no less than 14.25% of the total corpus. In (11), it is the death of his wife which made her disappear from the life of Mr. Julio, and the resultant state of being left a widower is again expressed by quedarse. Similarly, in (12), the state of being left orphan is caused by the death (or disappearance) of the subject entity’s parents.27

49Next, instead of a person, the pseudo-copular relation expressed by means of quedarse can also imply some propertyor characteristic that ceases to belong to the subject entity’s domain. Examples (13)-(16) illustrate this possibility:  

(13)

Un temor: quedarse ciego.

‘One fear: go blind.’

(14)

El dolor del oído se dejaba sentir ahora en un latido ardiente.  -¿Voy a quedarme sordo?

‘The pain in my ear felt like a burning thudding. -Am I going deaf?’

50In Spanish, the adjectives ciego ‘blind’ (13) and sordo ‘deaf’ (14) usually combine with the pseudo-copula quedarse; when the sense of vision or hearing decays and disappears, the resultant state of blindness or deafness is what is ‘left’. In the literature, the adjectives denoting some physical defect are commonly associated with the pseudo-copula quedarse (Fente 1970: 168, Eberenz 1985: 468, Porroche Ballesteros 1988: 132, Rodríguez Arrizabalaga 2001: 132, Morimoto & Pavón 2007: 43). Other predicate complements of this type found in our corpus are: cojo ‘lame’, tuerto ‘one-eyed’ and manco ‘one-armed’, which all express more permanent states in comparison with the health and mental states prototypically associated with ponerse (cf. supra). In addition, contextual clues confirm that in combination with quedarse the physical appearance denoted by the adjectives calvo ‘bald’, flaco ‘skinny’ and delgado ‘thin’ results from a loss (of hair and weight, respectively). Finally, with regard to the physical domain, the pseudo-copula quedarse also frequently combines with adjectives denoting physical states like dormido ‘asleep’, frito ‘exhausted’, traspuesto ‘dazed’, afónico ‘hoarse’, etc., suggesting loss of awareness, fitness, lucidity, voice.

51In (15), the predicate complement sin habla ‘speechless’ (literally ‘without speech’), introduced by the privative preposition, overtly indicates that something leaves the domain of the subject entity: the ability to speak disappears. Our corpus data provide several predicate complements introduced by the preposition sin ‘without’ and followed by a noun denoting something that is by default part of the bodily, mental or socio-physical domain of the subject entity. Some illustrative examples are: sin memoria ‘without memory’, sin recuerdos ‘without memories’, sin respiración ‘breathless; lit.: without breath’, sin aliento ‘breathless; lit.: out of breath’, sin fuerzas ‘powerless; lit.: without power’, sin voz ‘voiceless; lit.: without voice’, etc. In these contexts, quedarse profiles the state as a result of a prior change event, viz., the disappearance of la memoria ‘the memory’, los recuerdos ‘the memories’, etc.

(15)

-Debo informarle que Rahel Levin va a contraer nupcias próximamente. Te quedaste sin habla, con ganas de acogotarlo.

‘-I have to inform you that Rahel Levin will marry soon. You remained speechless, happy to grab him by the throat.’

  • 28 In our corpus we distinguish between physical, expressive and mental (psychological) immobility. Ph (...)

52Example (16) illustrates the common combination of quedarse with an adjective that denotes a state of perplexity. Using quedarse in these contexts makes us conceptualize the resultant stage of being caught by surprise in terms of an overall immobility, manifested by the inability to react, and especially to speak, if only during the first moment. The forces one is normally endowed with are gone. Whether the immobilization effect is durative or temporary depends on the context; in (16), for example, the subject entity (3rd person singular, ‘he’) takes no time to answer ( ‘yes’). Besides, the static vision of a person who lacks the necessary energy to react is metaphorically comparable with that of a subject entity that is not able or does not want to move, as expressed by the spatial meaning of quedar(se) outside the pseudo-copular construction. Other similar predicate complements that denote (physical, expressive or mental) ‘immobility’28 are, for example: inmóvil ‘immobile’, paralizado ‘paralyzed’, asombrado ‘astonished’, mudo ‘mute’, impresionado ‘impressed’, perplejo ‘perplexed’, boquiabierto ‘open-mouthed’, callado ‘silent’, etc.

(16)

-¿Mañana vas a Barcelona? -preguntó Maica. Se quedó perplejo. Hubiera jurado que esa pregunta, en la misma habitación, con Maica allí de pie, ya había tenido lugar antes, exactamente igual.[...]. -Sí -contestó.

-‘Tomorrow you're going to Barcelona? - asked Maica. He ended up perplexed. He could have sworn that this question, in the same room, with Maica standing there, had already taken place before, exactly the same […]. -Yes -he answered.’

53To conclude the present section, we list the most common predicate complements registered in our corpus with the pseudo-copula of change quedarse (Table 2):

  • 29 The overall less frequent combinations of quedarse with predicates that denote a positive state of (...)

Predicate complement

N

Pct.

solo ‘alone’

114

14.25%

dormido ‘asleep’

87

10.9%

quieto ‘still’

33

4.1%

callado ‘silent’

33

4.1%

tranquilo29 ‘calm’

29

3.6%

pensativo ‘thoughful’

25

3.1%

inmóvil ‘immobil’

20

2.5%

paralizado ‘paralyzed’

18

2.25%

ciego ‘blind’

14

1.75%

embarazada ‘pregnant’

13

1.6%

sorprendido ‘surprised’

11

1.4%

perplejo ‘perplex’

11

1.4%

helado ‘petrified’

11

1.4%

viudo ‘widower’

11

1.4%

TOTAL

430

53.75%

  • 30 Strikingly, fourteen predicate complements represent more than half (53.75%) of the total corpus wh (...)

Table 2. Most common predicates from the corpus of quedarse30

54It should be noted that in many cases we register predicate complements that are semantically related to those mentioned in Table 2, but with a reduced frequency. Taking into account all predicate complements, it can be stated that the type of predicates denoting some sort of ‘immobility’ (inmóvil ‘immobile’, paralizado ‘paralyzed’, asombrado ‘astonished’, estupefacto ‘stupefied’, mudo ‘mute’, etc.) is the one that predominates.

6. Ponerse and quedarse: alternate conceptualizations

55From the previous Section 5, it has become clear that the two verbsponerse and quedarse each impose their own conceptual image on the change-of-state event. This does not mean, however, that the use of the one automatically excludes the use of the other. While most of the predicate complements pattern with the conceptualization conveyed by one verb in particular, a minority of predicates are flexible and can combine with both verbs. In these cases, the choice of the verb depends on the conceptualization the speaker wants to project upon the situation. It concerns especially adjectives which denote a state of mind like triste ‘sad’, serio ‘serious’, nervioso ‘nervous’, contento ‘happy’, tranquilo ‘calm’, etc.

56Although the adjectives nervioso ‘nervous’ and triste ‘sad’ prototypically combine with the pseudo-copula ponerse, we also found one example of the former and four of the latter in the corpus of quedarse (19)-(20).

(19)

Las dos estamos tristes. [...] Cuando se va, me quedomuy nerviosa. Me prometo a mí misma seguir escribiendo, [...].

‘We are both sad. [...] When she leaves, Ifeel very nervous. I promise myself to continue writing, [...].’

(20)

 Su joven tía le interrumpió: -Sí, te marcharás, te marcharás. Y yo me quedaré triste y muerta de rabia.

‘Her young aunt interrupted: -Yes, you will leave, you will leave. And I'll be sad and dying of fury.’

57In general, we notice the presence of contextual clues which reveal the conceptualization adopted in a particular situation. The contextual indications in examples (19)-(20) enhance the image of the resultant state of a change event caused by a separation, and therefore justify the use of the pseudo-copula quedarse. The sequences cuando se va ‘when she leaves’ (19) and te marcharás, te marcharás ‘you will leave, you will leave’ (20) indicate that the person in question leaves or is no longer present in the subject entity's domain. As a result, one feels nervous (19) or sad (20). The use of the verb quedarse in this type of contexts does not only highlight what is ‘left’ in the resulting state but it also implies that there is no energy attributed to the subject entity itself.

58Such contextual clues are not always available. In (21), for example, it is precisely the use of the pseudo-copula quedarse which makes us understand that the state of paleness is reached and that the focus only lies on the resulting state. In combination with ponerse, on the other hand, the perspective adopted is different and the same state is viewed from its initial phase towards the resultant state (22). The change events expressed with ponerse in (23)-(24) are counterparts of examples (19)-(20).

(21)

Una vez le hablé del cementerio de Gerona así de pasada, y el muchacho se quedó pálido como un cadáver.

‘Once I told him, in passing, about the cemetery of Gerona, and the boy ended up pale as a corpse.’

(22)

-¿Se encuentra bien, George? -Sí, creo que sí. -Se ha puesto pálido de golpe.

‘-Are you all right, George? -Yes, I think so. -Suddenly he had turned pale.’

(23)

El doctor Huaco repta burocrático hacia la puerta. Vacila, se pone nervioso, da un paso atrás. Ha olvidado algo.

‘Dr. Huaco bureaucratically drags himself toward the door. He hesitates, he gets nervous, and he takes a step back. He forgot something.’

(24)

No sé cómo decirte, pero, ¿ves?, eso es algo: el letrero falta y uno se siente triste, pero falta Piedita y uno no se pone triste.

‘I do not know how to tell you, but, you see?, this is something: there is no street sign and one feels sad, but Piedita is not there and one does not get sad.’

59In a nutshell, with predicate complements that are flexible in their use, it can be stated that the difference between ponerse and quedarse is mainly one of aspectual profiling. The double event-structure (process of change and resulting state) indeed allows for different aspectual readings. While ponerse profiles the process toward the transition point (the achievement) and its realization, quedarse only highlights the resulting state of the change event.

  • 31 “Una progresión lineal que en cierto punto cruza un umbral; a partir de este umbral, la transformac (...)

60According to Eberenz (1985: 169; transl. LVG), the notion of change can be viewed as a “linear progression that at some point crosses a threshold; from this threshold on, the transformation is considered to be realized, and the continuation of the line therefore represents the result”.31 This global definition can be schematically visualized by means of an arrow going from the initial state X, before the change occurs, to the resultant state X’ after the change-event. In the Figures 3 and 4, the arrow corresponds to the initial movement or activity oriented toward the threshold or transition point, represented by the vertical interrupted line. The difference in conceptualization between ponerse and quedarse is indicated in grey. In Figure 3, the coloring of the point of the arrow as well as of the resultant state X’ signals that the pseudo-copula ponerse profiles the event of reaching the transition point and the achievement or realization of the change process, as well as some (indeterminate) duration of the new state. In Figure 4, on the contrary, only state X’ is colored grey, since the pseudo-copula quedarse, on the contrary, only highlights the resultant state of the event structure.

Figure 3. Schematic visualization of the notion of change expressed by ponerse

Figure 4. Schematic visualization of the notion of change expressed by quedarse

7. Conclusion

61As already pointed out by Eddington (1999, 2002) and Bybee & Eddington (2006), it seems that native speakers do not rely on the all-or-none features proposed in the literature to select a particular verb to denote a specific change-of-state event. By contrast, it seems that Spanish speakers trust their proper mental representations of change events and correspondingly express alternate conceptualizations. In order to understand what motivates the use of ponerse and quedarse, we have adopted a cognitive-semantics approach taking into account the basic meaning(s) the verbs have outside the pseudo-copular construction. Ponersehas been shown to profile the transition point and the adoption of the new state, thus yieldingthe dynamic perspective of a realization. Quedarse, on the other hand, yields a more static perspective by highlighting only the resultant state of the change event, caused by some separation or loss. Besides, in accordance with the static locative meaning of lexical quedar(se) (‘to stay, be situated’), no energy or dynamic force appears to be attributed to the subject entity in the change-of-state event.

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Notes

1 The research reported in this article was supported by the Research Foundation ‒ Flanders (FWO). My special thanks go to my supervisor, Prof. Dr. N. Delbecque and to the two anonymous reviewers for comments and feedback on an earlier version.

2 Pseudo-copulas share with prototypical copulas the need to be completed by a predicate (Juan se puso enfermo/ *Juan se puso ‘Juan became ill’ / *‘Juan became’). However, their semantic content exceeds that of copular verbs, since they express different aspectual relations, such as change, constancy and appearance. In addition, unlike the predicate of pure copulas, that of pseudo-copulas cannot be replaced by the neutral pronoun lo (Juan está contento – Juan lo está ‘Juan is happy – Juan is it’/ Juan se puso contento – *Juan se lo puso ‘Juan became happy – *Juan became it’). For more information on the relation between full-fledged copulas and pseudo-copulas, see Porroche Ballesteros (1990: 30-32) and Morimoto & Pavón (2007: 11-16).

3 The verbs that belong to the class of pseudo-copular verbs expressing the notion of change are: acabar ‘end’, caer ‘fall’, hacerse ‘make-refl’, ponerse ‘put-refl’, quedarse ‘stay-refl’, resultar ‘result’, salir ‘come out’, terminar ‘end’, volverse ‘turn-refl’, and also devenir ‘become’ and tornarse ‘turn’ (both archaic).

4 The pseudo-copular use of the non-pronominal form quedar to express a change of state is discussed in Van Gorp (2014).

5 Examples (1)-(2) are our own examples, the context in (3), on the contrary, comes from the online Corpus de Referencia del Español Actual (henceforth CREA, cf. infra, Section 4).

6 It is easy enough to come across counterexamples, e.g. in newspapers: El Barça se pone líder para no dejarlo ‘Barça becomes leader in order not to leave it’ (http://www.sport.es [consulted in October 2011]) / Madrid se pone guapa para recibir al Papa ‘Madrid becomes attractive in order to receive the Pope’ (http://www.madrid11.com [consulted in October 2011]).

7 “Al contrario, históricamente ponerse significaba más bien un devenir activo. En la actualidad hay ejemplos con o sin agente explícito. Puede uno ‘ponerse serio o agresivo’ de forma consciente o no”.

8 As defined by Traugott (2003: 645), grammaticalization is a “process whereby lexical material in highly constrained pragmatic and morphosyntactic contexts is assigned grammatical function, and once grammatical, is assigned increasingly grammatical, operator-like function”.

9 “Los verbos semicopulativos [o pseudocopulativos] proceden de verbos plenos a través de procesos de gramaticalización”.

10 On the different parameters or criteria of grammaticalization, see Lehmann (1982) and Hopper (1991).

11 Hopper’s criterion of persistence is often called lexical persistence. However, following Verveckken (2012) who offers a cognitive-functional analysis of binominal quantifiers in Spanish, we prefer the notion of conceptual persistence over lexical persistence. Conceptual persistence refers to the frame, i.e. “the encyclopedic knowledge or set of concepts activated by an item in a speaker’s mind” (Verveckken 2012: 160); this exceeds the definition of the item given by reference dictionaries. For more details on the notion of conceptual persistence, see Verveckken (2012).

12 Although Bybee and Eddington (2006: 349-350) briefly invoke the original meaning of quedar(se) and ponerse to explain the difference between them, they only compare them in combination with the adjective triste ‘sad’.

13 Although the change of position expressed by poner supposes motion, only a very short and brief movement is involved, so that it is not conceptualized as a displacement. The main difference between motion and displacement hinges on two meaning components, viz., direction and trajectory. Cifuentes Honrubia (1999: 73-81) demonstrates that, unlike the (interior) displacement denoted by the verb meter ‘put (away)’, the localization denoted by poner does not imply directionality nor trajectory. For more details, see Cifuentes Honrubia (1999).

14 Note that the spatial sense of the lexical verb quedar(se) can be expressed both by the non-pronominal form quedar and by the pronominal form quedarse, each one yielding however a difference in meaning. The non-pronominal form is required when quedar means ‘be situated’ and the subject entity is inanimate (e.g. El hotel queda lejos de la Universidad ‘The hotel is situated far from the University’). When the pronominal form is used in combination with an animate subject, on the contrary, the verb means ‘stay’ (e.g. María se quedó en casa ‘María stayed home’), and is often connoted as counter-expectative.

15 For a detailed account of the uses and meanings of ponerse and quedarse that are excluded from the corpus, see Van Gorp (2014).

16 To insure statistical validity, the selection procedure –based on the total number of contexts of the pseudo-copular verb– does not simply retain the first 800 contexts that appear in CREA, but maintains the existing proportions between person and time.

17 The metaphorical sub-mappings states are locations, changes are movements and causes are forces are part of the general (Location) Event Structure Metaphor, i.e., a universal metaphorical system of understanding event structure (see Lakoff 1993 and Lakoff & Johnson 1999 for more details).

18 There is no consensus on the definition and the number of image schemata (Hampe 2005, Oakley 2007: 229).

19 In his study on the English verb put, Pauwels (1995: 132) states that an example like She put the book on the table exemplifies the prototypical use of this verb.

20 In an ‘ergative’ reading, also called ‘inaccusative’, the subject entity is conceived of as spontaneously undergoing or manifesting an event, being simply the locus of it.

21 The verb in the transitive construction is a predicative one which lexically selects a predicate complement oriented to the object (Morimoto & Pavón 2007: 19).

22 “El experimentante no se limita a sufrir un cambio impuesto por una causa abstracta externa, sino que participa en él con su emocionalidad, no así con su control racional.”

23 While other displacement verbs conform to the typical source-path-goal image schema, poner does not have a path component.

24 Alonso (1986: 1534) also refers to the spatial meaning of quedar(se) which became available from the 13th century on. The pseudo-copular use of the verb expressing permanency or transition into another state is registered from the 14th century onwards.

25 Note that the durative character commonly attributed to the resultant state (cf. Section 2) can also be linked with the notion of permanency expressed by the spatial meaning of quedar(se),whereby the subject entity does not move but remains in the same location over several time spans.

26 While a diachronic study of how quedarse became used as a pseudo-copula of change goes beyond the present contribution, the combination of quedar(se) and the adjective solo ‘alone’ might have served as a bridging context between the spatial and the partitive meaning of quedar(se), which opened the way to the use with other adjectives to express not only a (resultant) state but also the notion of change.

27 Our corpus also includes some instances with the predicate complements sin (una) madre ‘without (a) mother’, sin padre ‘without father’ and sin abuela ‘without grandmother’, introduced by the privative preposition, which explicitly signals the disappearance of a person (sin ‘without’).

28 In our corpus we distinguish between physical, expressive and mental (psychological) immobility. Physical immobility refers to corporal fixation in space. Silence, for its part, is the symptomatic manifestation of expressive immobility, characterized by the lack of reaction in human interaction. Finally, mental immobility corresponds to states of perplexity and/or confusion. It should be noted, however, that these three categories form a continuum in the sense that –depending on the context– the interpretation of the same adjective can glide from one type of ‘immobility’ to another.

29 The overall less frequent combinations of quedarse with predicates that denote a positive state of mind (representing only 5,75% of the total corpus) can be characterized as less prototypical examples in the sense that they show a lower degree of conceptual persistence regarding the original use of quedar(se). Traces of the container image (cf. partitive meaning) are not maintained since what is profiled in these contexts is rather that something has entered the domain of the subject entity and the resultant state is seen as positive. However, quedarse still profiles the final stage or resultant state of the change event as opposed to ponerse, for example, which also highlights (part of) the change process itself (cf. infra).

30 Strikingly, fourteen predicate complements represent more than half (53.75%) of the total corpus which suggests a tendency to conventionalization in (semi-)lexicalized patterns.

31 “Una progresión lineal que en cierto punto cruza un umbral; a partir de este umbral, la transformación se considera realizada, y la continuación de la línea significa, por tanto, el resultado.”

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Table des illustrations

Légende Figure 1. Visualization of the example ‘Juan puts the books on the table’
URL http://cognitextes.revues.org/docannexe/image/843/img-1.png
Fichier image/png, 384k
Légende Figure 2. Representation of the change expressed by se pone triste ‘he becomes sad’
URL http://cognitextes.revues.org/docannexe/image/843/img-2.png
Fichier image/png, 249k
Légende Figure 3. Schematic visualization of the notion of change expressed by ponerse
URL http://cognitextes.revues.org/docannexe/image/843/img-3.png
Fichier image/png, 24k
Légende Figure 4. Schematic visualization of the notion of change expressed by quedarse
URL http://cognitextes.revues.org/docannexe/image/843/img-4.png
Fichier image/png, 27k
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Référence électronique

Lise Van Gorp, « Pseudo-copular use of the Spanish verbs ponerse and quedarse: two types of change », CogniTextes [En ligne], Volume 13 | 2015, mis en ligne le 27 décembre 2015, consulté le 21 août 2017. URL : http://cognitextes.revues.org/843 ; DOI : 10.4000/cognitextes.843

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Auteur

Lise Van Gorp

Katholieke Universiteit Leuven, Belgium

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