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The History of the Spanish Preposition Mediante. Beyond the Theory of Grammaticalization

Department of Hispanic Studies, Literary Theory and Communication, University of Barcelona, 08007 Barcelona, Spain
Languages 2019, 4(2), 26;
Received: 4 February 2019 / Revised: 12 April 2019 / Accepted: 12 April 2019 / Published: 25 April 2019
PDF [482 KB, uploaded 16 May 2019]


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. View Full-Text
Keywords: grammaticalization; absolute clause; Old Spanish; syntactic borrowing; Latinisms grammaticalization; absolute clause; Old Spanish; syntactic borrowing; Latinisms
This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited (CC BY 4.0).

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Garachana, M. The History of the Spanish Preposition Mediante. Beyond the Theory of Grammaticalization. Languages 2019, 4, 26.

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