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Diversity in Sinitic Languages$
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Hilary M. Chappell

Print publication date: 2015

Print ISBN-13: 9780198723790

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: March 2016

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780198723790.001.0001

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Grammatical change in Sinitic languages and its relation to typology

Grammatical change in Sinitic languages and its relation to typology

(p.53) 3 Grammatical change in Sinitic languages and its relation to typology
Diversity in Sinitic Languages

Alain Peyraube

Oxford University Press

This chapter sets out to discuss the links between the two domains of historical linguistics and typology, showing that it is actually quite indirect. The three basic mechanisms which govern grammatical change, that is, the processes of reanalysis (including grammaticalization and exaptation), analogy (including the phenomena of lexicalization and/or degrammaticalization), and external borrowing through language contact, only minimally involve typological research strictly defined. External borrowing is the only exception which could be included in the definition of linguistic areas. In spite of this, diachronic linguistics often enables us to provide, if not explanations, at least grounded hypotheses about the common properties which Sinitic languages share, if not the basic differences which are revealed between them. Examples are taken from the following topics to illustrate the points made above: passives and causatives, post verbal and pre verbal adverbs, double object constructions, and verbs of saying

Keywords:   diachrony, typology, reanalysis, grammaticalization, analogy, external borrowing, passive, causative, adverb, ditransitive, verbs of saying

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