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Linguistic Typology

Founded by Plank, Frans

Editor-in-Chief: Koptjevskaja-Tamm, Maria

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Volume 11, Issue 3


Crosslinguistic grammaticalization patterns of the allative

Sally Rice / Kaori Kabata
Published Online: 2007-12-21 | DOI: https://doi.org/10.1515/LINGTY.2007.031


Goal-marking morphemes, or allatives , are notoriously polysemous crosslinguistically. In a survey of 44 genetically and areally diverse languages, we have tracked synchronic usage patterns for 54 allative markers and confirmed that they indeed exhibit a wide range of semantic and grammatical functions. A number of previous grammaticalization studies undertaken from a cognitive/typological perspective have argued that various non-spatial goal-marking senses of allative morphemes, such as dative/benefactive and purposive , often develop out of a spatial sense through various semantic extensions. Our data also indicated that allatives grammaticalize extensively, but that dative, purposive , and other common abstract extensions, perhaps strongly associated with the allative sense, have an equal – and thus independent – likelihood of developing. That is, their functional evolution is not fully predetermined by a single implicational hierarchy or by a unidimensional grammaticalization chain. Instead, an allative marker undergoing grammaticalization has multiple extension pathways available to it.

Keywords: allative; case; dative; grammaticalization; location; motion; polysemy; purposive; semantic map; syncretism

About the article

1Correspondence address:Department of Linguistics, 4-60 Assiniboia Hall, University of Alberta, Edmonton, AB T6G 2E7, Canada

2Correspondence address:Department of East Asian Studies, 409-B Arts Building, University of Alberta, Edmonton, AB T6G 2E6, Canada

Received: 2006-02-22

Revised: 2007-04-16

Published Online: 2007-12-21

Published in Print: 2007-12-19

Citation Information: Linguistic Typology, Volume 11, Issue 3, Pages 451–514, ISSN (Online) 1613-415X, ISSN (Print) 1430-0532, DOI: https://doi.org/10.1515/LINGTY.2007.031.

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