This chapter consists of four related arguments. We first review the claims about the nature of grammaticalization in isolating languages, specifically those of East and Mainland Southeast Asia (EMSEA); based on this, we present a view that suggests that grammaticalization is indeed a type-specific, or areal, phenomenon. Following on that, we propose that morphological elaboration is likewise type- or area-specific; and to conclude we discuss the significance of this in terms of language evolution. Our arguments lead us to posit that elaboration of morphological structure only happens in a certain type of languages, and cannot be taken as an overall diagnostic of age across the world?s languages. In other words, ‘mature’ linguistic phenomena are not necessarily morphologically complex, nor are all morphologically free languages ‘young’.

Grammaticalization in isolating languages and the notion of complexity

Szeto P. Y.
2018

Abstract

This chapter consists of four related arguments. We first review the claims about the nature of grammaticalization in isolating languages, specifically those of East and Mainland Southeast Asia (EMSEA); based on this, we present a view that suggests that grammaticalization is indeed a type-specific, or areal, phenomenon. Following on that, we propose that morphological elaboration is likewise type- or area-specific; and to conclude we discuss the significance of this in terms of language evolution. Our arguments lead us to posit that elaboration of morphological structure only happens in a certain type of languages, and cannot be taken as an overall diagnostic of age across the world?s languages. In other words, ‘mature’ linguistic phenomena are not necessarily morphologically complex, nor are all morphologically free languages ‘young’.
Grammaticalization from a Typological Perspective
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Utilizza questo identificativo per citare o creare un link a questo documento: https://hdl.handle.net/10278/3751167
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