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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 a functional domain through language contact

The emergence of a functional domain through language contact

(p.279) 14 The emergence of a functional domain through language contact
The Emergence of Functions in Language

Zygmunt Frajzyngier

Marielle Butters

Oxford University Press

Some effects of languages contact on the emergence of functions have been described in the previous literature. The emergence of a functional domain and not merely a function has not been described so far. The chapter first proposes a methodology for the study of emergence of functions through language contact. It then demonstrates that the functional domain can emerge through incorporation of the method of coding functions from other languages. The domain in question is that of coding a type of tense distinctions whereby each marker associates the time of the event with a specific time or a specific event previously mentioned in discourse. This type of tense system is radically different from the tense systems as known in Indo-European languages.

Keywords:   functional domain, tense and tense systems, language contact, borrowing of a method of coding

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