The Diachrony of Complex Predication
  • ISSN 0176-4225
  • E-ISSN: 1569-9714
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While complex predicate constructions, including light verb structures and verb serialisation, are found in many of the world’s languages, there has been little diachronic work on these structures to date. In this paper I survey the state of the field and describe current ideas on the origins and development of complex predicates. In particular, I show that the assumption of cline-like development from parataxis to affix (through serialisation, light verbs and auxiliation) is too simplistic. Finally, I review arguments in favor of and against views of light verbs as stable structures.


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  • Article Type: Research Article
Keyword(s): clines; complex predicates; grammaticalisation; historical syntax; reanalysis; serial verbs
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