Volume 46, Issue 1
  • ISSN 0378-4177
  • E-ISSN: 1569-9978
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The accessibility hierarchy was first proposed by Keenan & Comrie (1977) to describe the cross-linguistic distribution of relative markers in terms of likelihood of relativization of different syntactic roles. The hierarchy is also commonly believed to reflect constraints on possible changes in the domain of relativization. For example, the hierarchy predicts that locative relatives that develop into general relativizers should expand their functional range in a step-by-step fashion from lower to higher roles. In this paper, we revise existing claims about the diachrony of locative relatives. In doing so, we survey known cases of locative relatives that develop into general relativizers and we also discuss data from linguistic variation in non-standard varieties in European languages, with a focus on social variation in Italian. As we argue, data from Italian suggests that another possible cline of development of locative relatives should be acknowledged, that is, .


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