By Carol Lord
This paintings examines either ancient and comparative proof in documenting the sweep of diachronic switch within the context of serial verb structures. utilizing a variety of information from languages of West Africa, Asia and the Caribbean, it demonstrates how shifts in which means and utilization lead to syntactic, morphological and lexical switch. the method in which verbs lose lexical semantic content material and boost case-marking features is defined; it's argued that the swap is directional, from verb to preposition (or postposition) to hitch, alongside a grammaticalization continuum. This comparable grammaticalization technique is proven to lead to the improvement of complementizers, adverbial subordinators, conjunctions, adverbs and auxiliaries from verbs. robust parallels throughout languages are present in the meanings of the verbs that develop into “defective” and within the capabilities they arrive to mark. The alterations are documented intimately, with examples from a couple of languages illustrating the impression of the alterations on typology and notice order, implications for the encoding of definiteness and element, and the relevance of notions reminiscent of discourse subject, foreground and transitivity. With appreciate to theoretical assumptions and terminology, the writer has taken a comparatively nonpartisan strategy, and the dialogue is out there to scholars of language in addition to of curiosity to theoreticians.
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Additional info for Historical Change in Serial Verb Constructions
SERIAL VERBS 24 Based on these paraphrase possibilities, he proposes a synchronic derivation of ni sentences in which the ni is introduced by transformation. ) From a historical perspective, the ní in (43)-(47) looks like a fossil. If it occurred historically as a verb in serial sequences with "bitransitive" verbs like those in (44), one wonders what its lexical signification could have been. An alternative possibility is that, once the locative meaning was considerably bleached from locative ní, as in (32)-(38), speakers might have found it a conveniently colorless verb-like particle to employ with "bitransitive" verbs like (44), in order to maintain the favorite V NP V NP sequence of the language's serial verb pattern.
6 Yusuf's findings regarding the function of ni structures in discourse help to provide an explanation in terms of discourse function for the LOCATIVE VERBS & PREPOSITIONS 29 hypothesized historical development of ni According to the historical scenario which I have suggested, once ní came to function as a preposition, it provided a structural option in which human discourse topics could occur earlier in the information sequence within the utterance, thus facilitating communication. Its usefulness in this capacity may have contributed to its widespread employment by speakers and its generalization from a locative marker to a general marker of oblique arguments.
Interestingly, Abraham, the experienced lexicographer with extensive knowledge of West African language structure, lists fun as a verb in (67a) and as "verb used as preposition" in (68a). But the only difference between (67a) and (68a) is the first verb phrase. Therefore, if one judges, like Abraham, that the use of fún in (68a) is more "prepositional" than in (67a), the assessment of the semantic function of the fun phrase must depend on the context, namely, the meaning of the first verb phrase.
Historical Change in Serial Verb Constructions by Carol Lord