Verb serialization in Ede from a diachronic perspective

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Grammaticalization is a phenomenon (Bisang 1996) in which certain independent lexical verbs, become grammatical forms. This process happens in many languages from different families: Tibeto-Burman languages (DeLancey 1991, cf. also Hyslop this volume), languages in mainland Southeast Asia (Bisang 1996; Lord 1993; Thepkanjana 1986), and other language families around the world. DeLancey (2004) proposed that the process of grammaticalization involved diachronic changes of certain lexical morphemes becoming grammatical ones through three stages: serialization, auxiliarization and morphologization. Our particular interest in this chapter will be the process of grammaticalization through verb serialization in Ede (a Chamic language of Vietnam), from a shift of an independent lexical verb to a verb in a sequence, and further to a grammaticalized auxiliary. Verb serialization in Ede provides a demonstration of DeLancey’s (2004) hypothesis regarding the process of grammaticalization occurring even though the stage of “morphologization” may not occur in Ede as it is an isolating language.


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