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Demonstrative and relative constructions in Ju

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Abstract

This paper focuses on the various demonstrative and relative constructions attested in the two Ju dialectal groups for which some level of documentation is available, viz. North-Central and South-Eastern, and proposes a unified diachronic account of the diversity of properties and uses of these constructions. The main claim is that exophoric demonstratives were verbs in Proto-Ju. Demonstrative and relative constructions in modern Ju dialects are shown to derive through various grammaticalisation pathways from these Proto-Ju verbal demonstratives and a relative construction still marginally attested in modern North-Central Ju. The complexity found in North-Central lects is due to numerous innovations (in particular the depredicativisation of non-canonical verbal categories) and the co-occurrence of many historical layers in synchrony. Juǀ’hoan, on the other hand underwent only minor changes, preserving most of the properties of the Proto-Ju demonstrative and relative constructions.

References

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