Reconstructing Grammar: Comparative Linguistics and by Spike Gildea

By Spike Gildea

Comparative linguistics and grammaticalization conception either belong to the wider type of historic linguistics, but few linguists perform either. The tools and ambitions of every staff look mostly detailed: comparative linguists have as a rule shunned reconstructing grammar, whereas grammaticalization theoreticians have both taken with explaining attested old swap or used inner reconstruction to formulate hypotheses approximately methods of swap. during this assortment, the various best voices in grammaticalization concept practice their easy methods to comparative facts (largely drawn from indigenous languages of the Americas), exhibiting not just that grammar will be reconstructed, yet that the method of reconstructing grammar can yield fascinating theoretical and typological insights. Contributions via: Alexandra A. Aikhenvald; Wallace Chafe; Spike Gildea; T. Givn; Joseph H. Greenberg; Bernd Heine; Srgio Meira; Marianne Mithun.

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Reconstructing Grammar: Comparative Linguistics and Grammaticalization

Comparative linguistics and grammaticalization thought either belong to the wider classification of historic linguistics, but few linguists perform either. The equipment and ambitions of every team appear principally distinctive: comparative linguists have most commonly kept away from reconstructing grammar, whereas grammaticalization theoreticians have both eager about explaining attested ancient swap or used inner reconstruction to formulate hypotheses approximately methods of switch.

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Aspect enclitics in Tariana Semantics Form Gloss completion non-completed, on-going completed, complete involvement of S/O completed, finished (perfective-like) not quite completed -daka -niki -sita -mayã ‘still, yet’ ‘completive’ ‘perfective’ ‘almost’ duration durative, prolonged repetitive short duration, little by little habitual, prescribed customary, usual -nhi -pita, -ta -yena -hyuna -kape ‘prolonged’ ‘repeated’ ‘little by little’ ‘habitual’ ‘customary’ Table 6. Switch-reference sensitive enclitics in Tariana Same Subject Different Subject -hyume/-yuhme ‘after, because’ -nikhe ‘during, in spite’ -kayãmi ‘after’ -nisawa, -kanada ‘during’ References Aikhenvald, Alexandra Y.

4. 18 Chart 4 shows the two stages of its grammaticalization: from a full verb to an enclitic. Unlike stative verbs which become grammaticalized as Aktionsart AREAL TYPOLOGY AND GRAMMATICALIZATION 21 enclitics (Chart 2), -whyume is not used in serial verb constructions. 19 (29) shows the use of -whyume as an independent predicate. (29) Hı˜ whyume. over/last ‘This is all (or: this is over)’. In (30) the same root is used as a switch-reference enclitic. In rapid speech it undergoes phonological reduction and metathesis in the first syllable and is pronounced as -hyume, or -yuhme.

19) (20) (21) phia? ’ (a morning greeting) Kayu ma:vi-peni i-sape-ka kahwi.  be awake ‘You (people) say bad things when you are awake (or: early in the morning)’. poison na-tuda-kawhi-pidana na-kasu nama. fish ‘Before dawn they were going to crush the fish poison early in the morning to poison fish’. Most of these Aktionsart enclitics derive from verbs with very specific meanings. This seems unusual, since linguistic expressions serving as a source for grammaticalization tend to have fairly general meanings (Heine, Claudi and Hünnemeyer 1991: 38–9).

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