The rise of non-canonical subjects and semantic alignments in Hindi

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An inquiry into the emergence of non-canonical subjects in Hindi may be a first step in evaluating the importance of semantic alignments in the language. The modern data display a cline of subject properties depending on the case and semantic role (Section 1). A brief account of the ancient data in Sanskrit (Section 2) shows that the most innovative development was that of experiencer subjects, which emerged in early NIA along with inefficient and involuntary actors (Section 3). This rise was related to global systemic changes in the language, particularly the development of new case markers (Section 4). The last section examines the main factors responsible for this shift, particularly re-analysis, usage and speaker’s viewpoint, lexical renewal and contact.


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