In Contemporary Portuguese, verbs such as considerar ‘consider’ and entender ‘understand’ contrast in more ‘lexical’ uses, contrarily to uses where epistemic values emerge, in the sense that there is a linguistic expression of subjective assessment of what is expressed. This paper aims to investigate the factors which diachronically determined the emergence of such values and thus the (non-overlapping) convergence of considerar and entender in (more) ‘grammatical’ uses, bearing in mind that the opposition ‘lexical’ / ‘grammatical’ should be understood as non-discrete. The data of Old and Middle Portuguese (13th to 15th centuries) consirar and entender which are presented and discussed were collected according to criteria of the testimonies’ dating, text genre diversity and the reliability of the editions. The various constructions with consirar and entender are described and the distinct factors enabling epistemic readings are identified. The data shows that the processes of emergence of epistemic values of the two verbs are at different stages, but also appears to evidence the interference of similar contextual factors for the possibility of epistemic interpretations, thus leading to their convergence in epistemic uses. The paper concludes pointing out some issues for future research, in particular the need to include other competing forms / constructions, not only with verbs such as achar ‘find’ and julgar ‘judge’, which synchronically show different restrictions of use, but also haver and ter ‘have’, since the latter could also occur with epistemic meanings in past stages of Portuguese.
|Translated title of the contribution||Consirar ‘consider’ and entender ‘understand’ in Old and Middle Portuguese: elements for a diachronic approach|
|Number of pages||24|
|Journal||Estudos de Lingüística Galega|
|Publication status||Published - 2019|
- diachrony of Portuguese
- Old and Middle Portuguese
- epistemic verbs