From nominal to clausal morphosyntax

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The study of the rise of syntactic complexity, in particular of clause subordination and recursive language structures has more recently become the topic of intense discussion. The present paper builds on the reconstruction of grammatical evolution as proposed in Heine and Kuteva (2007) to present a scenario of how new forms of clause subordination may arise. Taking examples from attested cases of grammatical development as well as using evidence that has become available on grammaticalization in African languages, it is argued that there are two major pathways leading to the emergence of clause subordination: either via the integration of coordinate clauses or via the expansion of existing clauses. The concern of this paper is exclusively with the latter pathway.


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