The most generally accepted diachrony of mediante
assumes a grammaticalization path that started in an absolute clause, which first evolved into a preposition, and later into conjunction. However, data reveals that its development is not connected to an evolution in terms of grammaticalization. Indeed, mediante
was introduced in Spanish in the fourteenth century as a consequence of syntactic borrowing from Medieval Latin. More specifically, this borrowing entered Old Spanish through Aragonese and Catalan (languages spoken in the east of the Iberian Peninsula). Since its first examples, mediante
has acted as a preposition, and its form, connected to present participles, would give texts a cultured and Latinising air that was well-suited to the rhetorical guidelines of the European Renaissance and pre-Renaissance. Thus, this paper shows that the writer and rhetorical rules have become a key factor in the evolution of grammar.
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