Indexicals as sources of case markers in Australian languages

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Among the well-known and widely discussed sources of case-markers are verbs,body part nouns, spatial terms (spatial adverbials and nominals denoting spatial concepts), other case-markers, and combinations of other case-markers. A less well-known source of case-markers is indexical items such as pronominals, determiners, and the like. In this paper I discuss some possible examples of such diachronic developments for oblique, genitive, and ergative markers in Australian languages. It is proposed that the first stage of this developmental pathway is a construction in which the indexical element is in apposition with an NP; over time the indexical element loses its independent status and deictic value and becomes a bound morpheme marking just a grammatical relation.


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