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LINGUIST List 22.2641

Fri Jun 24 2011

Qs: Innovation of Functional Categories

Editor for this issue: Brent Woo <bwoolinguistlist.org>


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        1.     Juergen Bohnemeyer , Innovation of Functional Categories

Message 1: Innovation of Functional Categories
Date: 23-Jun-2011
From: Juergen Bohnemeyer <jb77buffalo.edu>
Subject: Innovation of Functional Categories
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I'm looking for examples of functional categories - semantic distinctions
expressed by inflections and/or function words - that were clearly
innovated in a given language (family) at some point in a narrow sense
of the term 'innovation'. Specifically, I'm interested in cases that fulfill
both of the following criteria:

(i) One or more members of the particular language family at some
point grammaticalized a functional category that is not evidenced or
cannot be reconstructed in the common ancestor of the family

(ii) This grammaticalization was not in any obvious way contact-
induced; i.e., there is no conclusive evidence and no obvious candidate
for a model from which the newly minted category could have been
diffused.

To put this another way, you could say that what I'm looking for are
neologisms of grammar. I will post a summary of the responses should
the responses warrant this.

Linguistic Field(s): Historical Linguistics
                            Semantics
                            Syntax
                            Typology


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