Perfect grammaticalization has been much researched across languages (Bybee, Perkins, & Pagliuca, 1994; Harris, 1982, among others), however, debate continues about the role of continuative and experiential perfects (e.g., Stage II of the proposed path) and how extension to perfective contexts occurs (Schwenter, 1994a, 1994b; Schwenter & Torres Cacoullos, 2008; Squartini & Bertinetto, 1995, 2000). This study examines data from three centuries of Peninsular Spanish dramatic texts in order to track the linguistic factors constraining Present Perfect (PP)-Preterit variation. In the 15th century, the PP was employed in very recent temporal reference contexts, where it had developed a “hot news” function. Use in nonspecified (irrelevant and indeterminate) temporal reference was concentrated in semantic classes associated with resultative use. With time, the PP extended to all semantic classes in irrelevant temporal reference while simultaneously strengthening in perfective, but temporally indeterminate contexts, and finally, hodiernal contexts. Nonspecified temporal reference is believed to play a special role in the PP's grammaticalization: the irrelevant temporal PP function helps to solidify the event focus introduced by the hot news perfect, whereas its use in indeterminate contexts strengthens associations with perfectivity.