Volume 36, Issue 1
  • ISSN 0176-4225
  • E-ISSN: 1569-9714
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The principle of directionality is an important part of the comparative method: in order to arrive at a reconstruction, historical linguists need a robust theory that informs them in what direction linguistic change is likely to proceed. But any such theory will have exceptions. How are these to be spotted? I examine one case in which a counter-directional change, degrammaticalization, can be reconstructed by invoking the phonotactics of the proto-language. The degrammaticalized form is the Sirva 3 pronoun , and the proto-language is Proto-Sogeram. After making this reconstruction, I also demonstrate that it can be used to enhance our understanding of degrammaticalization. spawned a small family of related forms, which shows us that degrammaticalized forms can become polygrammaticalized in the same way as other grammatical morphemes.


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