Auxiliation and typological shift

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This paper documents the formation of auxiliary verbs and suffixes in Quechua and examines how processes of language evolution and contact introduce new aspectual contrasts expressed through verbal periphrases. Quechuan languages provide an excellent opportunity to examine the interaction of internal and external motivations for change because the auxiliation process suggests sequences of regular developments and also provides evidence for changes induced by contact with Spanish. The creation of numerous auxiliaries, coupled with stimulation of their productivity, enlarges the role for grammatical expression through periphrasis. Additionally, the contact-induced obstruction of verbal suffix formation weakens the sustainability of polysynthesis via renewal. Although the initial effects are minor, these contact phenomena initiate a shift toward an increasingly analytic, less polysynthetic morphology.


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