A constructionist approach to the development of the Spanish topic marker en cuanto a ‘in terms of’
The diachronic development of topic markers in Romance languages such as Spanish en cuanto a ‘in terms of’ is still a research desideratum. With regard to topic markers in general only the development of French quant à has been investigated extensively so far (cf. Combettes et al, eds., 2003). However, it has never been analysed against the background of Construction Grammar (CxG), as the framework of CxG is still not often applied in Romance linguistics (but see De Knop et al, eds., 2013 and Boas / Gonzálvez-García, eds., 2014). So one goal of this qualitative and quantitative study is to describe en cuanto a as a construction. In detail, the present study asks: How is en cuanto a to be described at both the formal and the meaning level? How can the construction’s use and its restrictions of use be described? And to what extent can the development of en cuanto a be regarded a case of constructional change (cf. Hilpert 2013)?