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Chapter 7 Grammatical, Semantic and Lexical Change PART II Commentary on Crowley.

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Presentation on theme: "Chapter 7 Grammatical, Semantic and Lexical Change PART II Commentary on Crowley."— Presentation transcript:

1 Chapter 7 Grammatical, Semantic and Lexical Change PART II Commentary on Crowley

2 Morphosyntactic Alignment The system used to distinguish between the arguments of transitive verbs and those of intransitive verbs, which can be made morphologically (through grammatical case or verbal agreement), syntactically (through word order), or both, is called Morphosyntactic Alignment.arguments transitive verbsintransitive verbsmorphologicallygrammatical caseverbal agreementsyntacticallyword order (From Wikipedia article approved by Instructor)

3 Bernard Comrie’s system Categories: S, A, O S = subject of intransitive A = agent of transitive O = logical object of transitive

4 Accusative and Ergative Case Marking Systems S A O

5 Accusative and Ergative Case Marking Systems S Accusative A O

6 Accusative and Ergative Case Marking Systems S Ergative A O

7 English as Accusative Language He wept.He is S. He threw the ball.He is A. Somebody loves him.Him is O. S and A are the same: He O is a different: Him Nomenclature: Accusative languages mark the O (accusative case) differently than S and A.

8 Hypothetical ŋ inlish as Ergative Language He wept.He is S. Him threw the ball.Him is A. Somebody loves he.He is O. S and O are the same: He A is a different:Him Nomenclature: Ergative languages mark the A (ergative case) differently than S and O (called absolutive case).

9 Many ergative languages mark the A (ergative) case with nominal affixes, cf. Crowley p Mali-ju majgal-u mala :mam buma-ni.A, O the man the child hit-past ‘The man hit the child.’ Mala bajgal gaware-:la.S the man run-present ‘The man runs.’ Mali-ju :mam-bu mala bajgal ɲ a:-niA, O the child the man see-past ‘The child saw the man.’

10 How English could become ŋ inlish English: I saw him; I was seen by him ; I ran. A O ; S

11 How ŋ inlish changed to ŋ ishnil by evolving an antipassive construction

12 Antipassive as stylistic option in ŋishnil ŋ inlish: I see-n him; I ran. (Transl: ‘He saw me; I ran.’) O A ; S (O and S are marked the same; A is different; no stylistic option) ŋ ishnil: I see-n him; I see-n at him; I ran. (Transl: ‘He saw me; O A ; S

13 Antipassive Many ergative languages develop a stylistic transformation called antipassive. ŋ inlish would change to ŋ ishnil when it started employing intransitive sentence structures with semantically transitive verbs, e.g. I love to him (S__PP). This structure provides a stylistic alternative to the basic ergative structure He love- n me (O__A) meaning ‘I love him’, but with a different nuance.

14 Back to the future: Ergative to Accusative Shift Ergative languages with an antipassive construction can change into accusative languages. (The majority of the world’s languages are accusative, by the way.) The change can be triggered in many ways sociolinguistically speaking, e.g. marriage exchanges occur among speakers of the two language types. All it takes is for children to start dropping the preposition in the antipassive construction: I love to you  I love you... S PP S O

15 Ergative to accusative shift... and then when the children reanalyze the new I love you construction as the ‘basic’ transitive structure: AVO This co-ops the erstwhile ergative structure, forcing it to disappear, or undergo re-analysis as a mere stylistic option, i.e. as a passive. Before the reanalysis:I love-n him = ‘He loves me.’ After the reanalysis:I love-n him = ‘I am loved (by) him.’

16 And so, after perhaps 10,000 years of morpho-syntactic change, the language may end up, typologically, right back where it started.

17 7.1 Typology and Grammatical Change Morphological types (4) Accusative and ergative languages Basic constituent order Verb chains

18 Word Order variety in an inflecting language (Latin example re-visited) Marcellus amat Sophiam. Sophiam Marcellus amat. Amat Marcellus Sopham. Sophiam amat Marcellus. ‘Marcus loves Sophia.’

19 Totally free Word Order w/o noun inflections is not found. SVOI like fish.John loves Mary. ~SOVI fish like.John, Mary loves. ~OSVFish I like.Mary, John loves. ~OVSFish, like, I.Mary, loves, John ~VSOLike, I, fish.Loves, John, Mary ~VOSLike fish I.Loves Mary, John No language has this kind of free word order.

20 Instead, languages that can settle on a basic order, can reduce nominal case marking. Lg A: SVOI like fish.John loves Mary. Lg B: SOVI fish like.John, Mary loves. Lg C: OSVFish I like.Mary John loves. Lg D: OVSFish like I.Mary loves John Lg E: VSOLike I fish.Loves John Mary Lg F: VOSLike fish I.Loves Mary John GLOSS‘I like fish.’‘John loves Mary.’

21 So where did all the variety come from? I thought Chomsky said all languages were at bottom the same?!

22 Word Order Change SOV  SVO  VSO  VOS  OVS  OSV  SOV very rare, once thought to be non-existent

23 PIE > English SOV > SVO How did this change come about? In modern German, main clauses are SVO but embedded clauses are SOV. The explanation: German retains the PIE pattern in embedded clauses, but has changed to SVO in main clauses, whereas English has changed all sentences to SVO.

24 English and German word order Ich liebe dich. ‘I love you.’ Wo ist das Mädchen das ich liebe? ‘Where is the girl that I love?’ Wo is das Mädchen das ich lieben soll? ‘Where is the girl that I should love?’ (that I love should) Wo is das Mädchen das ich auf die Strasse gesehen haben soll? ‘Where is the girl that I supposedly saw on the street?’ (that I on the street seen have should)

25 7.1 Typology and Grammatical Change Morphological types (4) Accusative and ergative languages Basic constituent order Verb chains

26 Verb Chains (also called Serial Verbs) The closest English has to these is perhaps found in a series of modals and auxiliaries: He might have been being chased by a lion. English also allows limited verb serializing with begin and infinitives. The children began crying to see the injured animals.

27 Melanau pariphrastic passive As seen earlier, Melanau dialects employ the adversative verb ‘touch’ as auxiliary followed by a verb root in a passive construction. Belawi: Talak idun kənah rusuk ŋan abaw puyan. touch wash ‘The dishes were washed with kitchen ashes.’

28 Some languages take this farther. They allow several lexical verbs in a construction, perhaps because conjunctions can be freely deleted syntactically. Crowley (p. 144) says that most languages exploiting this possibility are SOV. Verb serialization allows sentences to be constructed SOV(V) n Na-bu-wul-cay-pra-kiak. him-they-frighten-try-come-passing ‘They tried to scare him (when he) came passing.’

29 End of Section 7.1 – Typology and Grammatical Change Morphological types (4) Accusative and ergative languages Basic constituent order Verb chains TO BE CONTINUED


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