Volume 12, Issue 1
  • ISSN 2210-2116
  • E-ISSN: 2210-2124
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This study presents data from modern Arabic innovations < to investigate the cross-linguistic developmental pathway < . Products of this path (e.g., German , Spanish ) feature consistently in contrastive approaches to grammaticalization and lexicalization and have been advanced as exclusive examples of both phenomena, without clear resolution. In this investigation, I establish the derivation of forms in dialectal Arabic from ten distinct source constructions and identify patterns of fusion and coalescence relevant to both grammaticalization and lexicalization analyses. I then demonstrate a correlated progression of indexicalization and desemanticization in these items’ semanto-pragmatic structure that firmly positions them as examples of grammaticalizing, rather than lexicalizing, change, and proceed to develop this account via examination of the cross-dialectal diffusion of < as an abstract, schematized structure. This approach provides additional support for a grammaticalization account of < developments cross-linguistically and elaborates a novel evidentiary stream with implications for the integration of contact linguistics and grammaticalization/lexicalization studies more broadly.


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  • Article Type: Research Article
Keyword(s): Arabic; deixis; dialect contact; grammaticalization; lexicalization
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