Phenomenology and the Cognitive Sciences

, Volume 16, Issue 1, pp 107–131 | Cite as

The codification of intersubjectivity in the diachronic change AD locative > A(D) indirect object in Spanish

  • Enrique Huelva Unternbäumen


The principal aim of this paper is to analyze the relationship between intersubjectivity and grammar. We argue that intersubjectivity represents, on the one hand, a prerequisite for the development of language as a symbolic system, and therefore also for the development of grammar. Furthermore, we attempt to show that language, and especially grammar, codify intersubjectivity. That is to say, grammatical constructions represent the intersubjective interactions that situated agents maintain in different pragmatic contects. We call this phenomenon the meta-representational capacity of language. Our main object of analysis is the development of the ditransitive construction (give something to someone - dar algo a alguien) in the Spanish language. The evolution of this construction makes it clear that there is an important correlation between the degree of complexity of the codified intersubjective interaction and grammatically obligatory nature and the prominence of the grammatical construction that codifies it: the greater the complexity, the greater its obligatoriness, and vice versa.


Intersubjectivity Grammar Meta-representational capacity Intersubjective concept formation 


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© Springer Science+Business Media Dordrecht 2015

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.University of BrasiliaBrasiliaBrazil

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