The DP Cycle

Elly van Gelderen

in The Linguistic Cycle

Published in print April 2011 | ISBN: 9780199756056
Published online September 2011 | e-ISBN: 9780199896882 | DOI:
The DP Cycle

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Demonstratives are involved in cyclical changes by becoming articles and later class or Case markers. This involves the grammaticalization of deictic features. For instance, the Old English masculine demonstrative pronoun se develops into the definite article the. When the demonstrative is renewed, it is often done so through a locative adverb, as in English with the adverb there/here. The structural changes involved in the cycle are from specifier to head to affix of the DP, not surprising given changes described in earlier chapters. Again, these changes are put in terms of Feature Economy: semantic features are reanalyzed as interpretable and then uninterpretable features. Language families looked at include Indo-European, Uralic, Uto-Aztecan, Yuman, Salish, Austronesian, Afro-Asiatic and Niger-Congo.

Keywords: DP; definiteness; demonstrative; article; locative

Chapter.  17800 words.  Illustrated.

Subjects: Grammar, Syntax and Morphology

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