Contact-induced grammaticalization in older texts

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This paper argues that the emergence of the Greek analytic adjectival comparatives should be considered an instance of contact-induced grammaticalization that took place in the Late Middle Ages (between 14th–16th c. approximately) and involved Greek-Romance (Italian and/or French) bilingualism. Through a detailed investigation into the written record, it illustrates the importance of ‘extra-linguistic’ information for the establishment of a language contact account for instances of grammaticalization, especially in cases of bilingualism involving closely related languages. Finally, it discusses theoretical implications for the study of grammatical replication in general, and how it correlates with contact linguistics and sociolinguistic studies in particular.


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