This article suggests that a diachronic analysis of a specific syntactic phenomenon in Romance allows us to formulate hypotheses that can be extended to those varieties that have been documented only in the last few centuries or decades. The case study focuses on the use of gerunds and prepositional infinitives as complements of perception verbs in Friulian and Dolomitic Ladin, which both belong to the Rhaeto-Romance group: I study their evolution in Friulian on the basis of the collection of Vincenzo Joppi (1878). Subsequently, I compare the different stages of evolution in Friulian with the current outcomes in Dolomitic Ladin. Since Dolomitic Ladin has only been attested since the beginning of the XIX century (except for some short documents), the only way to reconstruct the development of the Ladin perception constructions is through the comparison with other varieties. The evidence shows that in both varieties gerunds were the original form, and later they were replaced with prepositional infinitives. In the Middle Ages this type of gerund could be used either as secondary predicate (as it is today) or as complement clause of the perception verb. Nowadays, in Ladin it is used only as complement clause. This strongly contrasts with Spanish, were gerunds are only used as secondary predicates, and never as complement clauses.
|Title of host publication||Ad limina Alpium. VI Colloquium Retoromanistich, Cormons, dai 2 ai 4 di Otubar dal 2014|
|Number of pages||30|
|Publication status||Published - 2016|