1887
Volume 74, Issue 2
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Abstract

Abstract

The Scanian dialect of Middle Danish underwent a range of changes and reductions in its case system. I argue that these changes were caused neither by phonological developments nor by language contact as often assumed, but by multiple processes of grammaticalisation. The present paper focuses on one of these factors: that the relatively predictable constituent order within the Middle Danish noun phrase made case marking redundant in its function of marking noun-phrase internal agreement between head and modifier(s). This redundancy caused the case system to undergo a regrammation where the indexical sign relations changed so that the expression of morphological case no longer indicated this noun-phrase-internal agreement, leaving only topology (as well as morphologically marked number and gender agreement) as markers of this type of agreement. This factor contributed to the subsequent degrammation of the entire case system.

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2021-11-18
2022-05-18
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