1. Balkan object reduplication in areal and dialectological perspective

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When examined in its Balkan context, object reduplication tells us a number of things about language contact phenomena in general and Balkan contact phenomena in particular. It provides a striking illustration of the way a pragmatic phenomenon becomes syntactic and finally grammaticalized almost to the point of morphologization. The areal distribution of reduplication and its degree of integration into the various Balkan linguistic systems arguably reflects different diachronic stages as well as different synchronic systems. Of particular importance is the fact that the phenomenon shows varying degrees of encoding (as pragmatic or grammatical devices) on the basis of areal rather than genealogical relations. At the same time, this geographic distribution is additional evidence for the manner in which grammatical change can be triggered by pragmatic devices: object reduplication is more highly grammaticalized in the west Balkans than in the east, and the variations shown by Balkan Slavic, Balkan Romance, and Albanian point to the areality of this feature. These data also demonstrate the importance of taking dialectology and less commonly examined Balkan languages (Aromanian, Romani) into account when discussing degrees of Balkanization.


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