Volume 42, Issue 3
  • ISSN 0378-4177
  • E-ISSN: 1569-9978
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Demonstratives, broadly defined as a subclass of deictic expressions used for exophoric reference, do not develop through direct grammaticalization (Diessel 1999: 150). The renewal of demonstratives, and the mechanisms and motivations underlying such processes, have not received as much attention as the related negative cycle. Greenberg’s (1978) observation that demonstratives are often replaced by reinforced forms might shed light on this diachronic process, and this study aims to explore this phenomenon further, as well as its connection with grammaticalization. Reinforcement of demonstratives can lead to the development of new demonstratives, which may catalyze the grammaticalization of old ones through paradigmatic competition (niche competition). The analysis presented here sees reinforcement as a possible driving force behind grammaticalization, and not vice versa, as suggested in Diessel (2006: 474) and van Gelderen (2011: 210), among others.


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