1887
Volume 1, Issue 1
  • ISSN 2210-2116
  • E-ISSN: 2210-2124
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Abstract

This article is a contribution to the long standing issue of identifying directionality in semantic change. Drawing on evidence from a sample of morphologically complex terms in basic vocabulary for 149 globally distributed languages, it is argued that cross-linguistically preferred synchronic relationships of word-formation provide clues to likely directions of diachronic semantic developments. The hypothesis is tested against diachronic data from Indo-Aryan languages, and, in spite of a number of counterexamples, a correlation is found. In addition, it is shown how these data can be applied to semantic reconstruction, and a scenario of semantic change which involves morphological complexity in an early stage of semantic development is sketched.
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/content/journals/10.1075/jhl.1.1.02urb
2011-01-01
2019-10-22
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References

http://instance.metastore.ingenta.com/content/journals/10.1075/jhl.1.1.02urb
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