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Grammaticalization from a Typological Perspective$
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Heiko Narrog and Bernd Heine

Print publication date: 2018

Print ISBN-13: 9780198795841

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: December 2018

DOI: 10.1093/oso/9780198795841.001.0001

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Addressing questions of grammaticalization in creoles

Addressing questions of grammaticalization in creoles

It’s all about the methodology

Chapter:
(p.372) 18 Addressing questions of grammaticalization in creoles
Source:
Grammaticalization from a Typological Perspective
Author(s):

Hiram L. Smith

Publisher:
Oxford University Press
DOI:10.1093/oso/9780198795841.003.0018

Claims about grammaticalization in creole languages are often made without applying empirical tests. For Palenquero Creole, the habitual morpheme asé bears formal resemblance to Spanish hacer ‘do’, providing easy fodder for provenance theorists. While the origins of asé have been debated for decades, we have no studies. In the present study, claims made by scholars were converted into testable hypotheses which make specific synchronic predications regarding asé’s functions and distributions relative to attested cross-linguistic trends in the development of tense and aspect expressions. Rigorous tests or ‘grammaticalization indices’ were then applied in order to determine asé’s degree of conformity. The results of multivariate analysis revealed that asé is walking a tightrope of being an emerging yet advancing grammatical morpheme, although not obligatory. I stress that it was only through the application of accountable data mining and analytical procedures that we could build a solid case for grammaticalization of asé habitual.

Keywords:   asé, grammaticalization in creoles, Palenquero, Spanish creoles, habitual

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