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The Emergence of Functions in Language$
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Zygmunt Frajzyngier and Marielle Butters

Print publication date: 2020

Print ISBN-13: 9780198844297

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: January 2021

DOI: 10.1093/oso/9780198844297.001.0001

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The emergence of complex action as an outcome of the availability of coding means

The emergence of complex action as an outcome of the availability of coding means

(p.229) 11 The emergence of complex action as an outcome of the availability of coding means
The Emergence of Functions in Language

Zygmunt Frajzyngier

Marielle Butters

Oxford University Press

Studies of Australian and Amazonian languages have demonstrated the existence of an associated motion function. Chapter 11 demonstrates that associated motion is just one of the possible outcomes of the emergence of new functions. The associated action may involve activities other than motion. This associated activity is called here ‘compositional action’. This function emerged as a result of the presence of the rich system of verbal inflectional markers coding directionality and spatial orientation in the languages considered. The importance of this chapter is that it demonstrates that a rich inflectional coding on a lexical category - in this case the verb - allows for the emergence of a new type of function and not merely provides a new locus of coding. The implications of this conclusion, which supports previous studies of Australian, Amazonian, and Slavic languages, is that it calls for a new typology of functions.

Keywords:   compositional action, typology of functions, preverbs, verbal extensions, associated motion

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