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Crosslinguistic grammaticalization patterns of the allative
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.
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