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Harmonization and disharmonization of affix ordering and basic word order
Cross-category harmony (correlations between basic word order and preference for suffixes or prefixes) has been proposed by several typologists and psycholinguists as a principle to explain some apparent crosslinguistic tendencies. This article attempts to test whether cross-category harmony has an observable influence on morphosyntactic change, and reviews cases of harmonization and disharmonization of affix order. The grammaticalization of associated motion prefixes in Japhug Rgyalrong, a verb-final language of southwest China, constitutes a solid case of development of a disharmonic construction out of a harmonic one, and runs counter to the idea that head ordering principles have a direct effect on language change.
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