General Principles of Unidirectionality.
Example of Greek future tha which Meillet says is
In fact (as H&T point out repeatedly) this is not direct: instead, it is more like "lexical item in certain highly constrained local contexts is reanalyzed as having morphological or syntactic functions, or
|A:|| item becomes syntactically fixed, |
|B:||eventually fuses morphologically|
|Assumption:||A precedes B, not vice versa|
Some people would like to claim that once something starts, its end is implied or can be expected, and progress is inexorable or inevitable. No evidence for this; there are strong constraints on how change occurs; and on directionality. Compare Sapir's notions of drift which is different, perhaps a more abstract idea about change, or "a metacondition on the way in which the grammar of a language as a whole will change. (R. Lakoff 1972).
On generalization, note some differences: some say generalization leads to weakening of semantic content, with phonetic erosion. But H&T don't agree; instead see
loss of older, ... more concrete meanings and development of newer, more abstract ones that [...] cancel out the loss.
Refer to previous discussion of this (more informativeness, pragmatic strengthening.) generalization means increase of polysemies and/or increase of range of meanings of a morpheme (Kurylowicz).
Generalization of Meaning
What constraints on kinds of meanings that are subject go grammaticalization?
Lexical fields: there are semantic relations that occur in lexical fields , e.g.
Usually lexical items chosen are general, superordinate and not specialized, so go, come might be used, but not "ooze, flutter". (But see the Tamil aspectual verbs, which start out with some general ones, but gradually involve more specialized ones.) What are chosen are basic words of a field, a.k.a. hyponyms Or, a form is less basic, but is then generalized, and then grammaticalized: Lat. ambulare --> aller (French) --> AUX Nous allons voir ca "We're going to see that, i.e. we'll see about that!"
General lex. items then take on more and more generalized functions, as used in more and more contexts: wider distribution, more polysemies. Former inferences are grammaticalized.
Difference with lexicalization changes, where some meanings become narrowed, e.g. cf. German sterben 'die' vs. Eng. starve 'die of hunger.' Dispreferred items (taboo items etc.) become narrower and narrower.
grammaticalization does not give evidence of this narrowing, so this absence predicts constraints on possible developments (see examples of negative phrases and negative incorporation, pg. 98, where extant negative form is negative of the weaker member; can be strengthened by an implicature cancelable upward to stronger meaning.)
Another constraint: avoidance of homonymic clash, so if two lexical items 'fall together' (bec. of some phonolog devel) one or another will be replaced, esp. if meanings are opposite. Most homonymic clash is lexical not grammatical, so multiple grammatical homonymies can exist, and without problems:
Cf. English grammatical morpheme -th Can mean:
The two meanings can be homonymic and not clash, because they occur in very different contexts. Also true of the English -s which functions as:
Cf. Also Finnish example of reanlysis (singular agentive N's) then generalized to new environments via:
In lgs. with lots of morphology, N's can be determined to be N's by their morphology and the affixes etc. they can take. Same with V's. In a language without much overt morphology, what is a N or V is known by the function they perform, so when an item in English like prepositional "off" is used as a verb ( Off the pigs! a Black Panther slogan of the 60's and 70's) we know it's a verb from its function and context. Often this is along a cline from major to minor, e.g.
H&T give examples of shift from major to minor as more important(?) than my example of shift from minor to major; e.g. development of Eng. while as a conjunction instead of as a N. When used as a conjunction, while cannot:
major category (--> adjective/adverb) --> minor category.
Compare development of Tamil/Kannada postpositions from verbs, such as paattu from the verb paar meaning 'see.'
|I told you not to come today, but you deliberately came today anyway!|
|(Or: 'I told you not to come today, but you went and did it, anyway!)|
Clusters are not rigid, fixed points, but gathering places, like iron filings around magnets.
____________ ___________________ _________________________ _________________ _____________________ _________________________ _________________ Etc.
Remember that once embarked upon, grammaticalization does not have an inevitable result; may be arrested etc. We can't work back from any one form to see a clear path; and we can't illustrate a particular cline with only one form. (Not enough historical record, they say; I would bet we might find examples in Tamil with its long time depth, hs). What is important is the issue of directionality between adjacent forms on the cline not demo. of complete sequence of events for a given form.
The Hindi data are paralleled by data from other IA lgs. which don't have the same frequency, declining to zero in some Dardic lgs. (Shina, Kashmiri) which some people say aren't really IA lgs. anyway. Hooks' account shows how vector verbs contribute notions of perfective aspect, emphasis on completion/completedness, full affectedness of the verb's object, and involvement of an agent. Hook
I definitely said NOT to come today, but you came today anyway!
Acc. to H&T, Hindi can't be said to have any kind of AUX (or vector) category of Verb that is different from Marathi; or let's say we can't say Hindi is a kind of AUX, but Marathi is not; there is a scale of grammaticalization here, obviously, and it's messy.
_________ A / source _____/ \ \_________ Bor conversely, we can also get merger:
A_________ \ \_________ new item / B_________/Merger occurs when sources from slightly different domains converge on one gramm. domain, if there is pragmatic, semantic and synactic appropriateness. Metaphor: convergence in 'semantic space.' Examples given are convergence of REFLEXIVES and MIDDLE VOICE, common cross-linguistically. Also EVIDENTIALS and CONDITIONALS.
Example of Hindi verbs where go vector vb is b ecoming more common; speculation is that the others will become less. Some verbs are gaining ascendency and becoming more general, and therefore more broadly functional. Specialization doesn't nec. mean no coexistence, but some things must themselves become specialized, or lose out. May depend on
which semantic types involved
Another good example: modern French specialization of negative particle ne plus nouns, now usu. pas 'pace.' Other nouns were in used, some have remained and become specialized ( point, personne, que, plus, etc.) but some have gone out ( mie, gote, amend, areste, beloce, eschalope ). Now point denotes only "emphatic negation contradicting previous assertion" ('No, it's not true, there isn't any at all. ) and pas is now the negative marker period. Remember that the choice of these items and the grmn of them is motivated by discourse constraints, i.e. originally pas would have been restricted to verbs of motion, but now generalized.
Example of English a/an and one . Originally, one form, OE an [a:n], which normally have bec. [o:n] but instead one the one hand we get [w@n] 'one' and on the other, the cliticized forms a/an i.e. unstressed.
The Malay and Indonesian data show how the grammaticalization of numeral classifiers recruit lexical items with particular shapes (at least with inanimate objects) and then use them as classifiers. Because they retain some resemblance (in most cases) to the original lexitem, persistence is illustrated: if the noun being classified is orang "person" you don't get a classifier with it, i.e. you don't get *seorang orang But in the case of *sabatu --> sawatu --> satu you can get satu batu . If the classifier for a term is used, then you don't get s(u)atu which has now taken on the meaning "one", so you can get either satu rumah 'a house' or sebuah rumah 'one-bunch house'. So we now have divergence of the forms satu and batu which is part of the origin of satu (*suwatu <-- subatu) .
phonological divergence is not nec. however: we can get in Dravidian forms like Tamil viTT-iDu 'leave-DEF' "get out of here!" and the same for Kannada: biTT-biDu "ibid." where one form is the lexical item, followed by the aspect marker based on it.
Most interesting point they make here is the quote from Schwegler (1988) who says that there is a "psychological proclivity" for the development of negative emphasizers, and that they have their point of origin in contexts of contradiction i.e. emotionally loaded contexts. So the French system is a case in point; the English development reuses ne in various ways, i.e. not , no way (Jose) .
Renewal by a non-cognate item to effect semantic expressiveness underlies most eg's of development of innovative periphrasis which Langacker calls the major way to "achieve perceptual optimality in syntax."
After renewal, new form may undergo reduction, e.g. not --> n't . This gets us into recursivity and arguments about "reduction to zero" and renewal etc. H&T say no; how can their be a stage where you can't say something you need to? Rather, the new form says it better or more expressively, or more communicatively, etc.
See examples (p. 124) for different ways in English to express tense and aspect; assume that the most bonded forms are the oldest, the more periphrastic and less reduced forms are newer.
Syntactic examples from Estonian (could also be German, Russian) with two kinds of relative clauses:
Presumably these 2 types have a pragmatic difference; others may reflect older historical layers of (e.g.) OV syntax instead of newer VO syntax.
More counterexamples, from lexicalization? H&T reject. But grmn as a unidirectional process, and lexicalization as non-unidirectional, may intersect.
Another problem: the non-intersection of Output2 and Output1 and the attempts of speakers2 to repair or cover-up their "mistakes" when their output doesn't match. Known as hypercorrection. May be typical of adults rather than children? May obscure or confuse attempts to detect abductive changes (reanalysis).