Exploring diachronic universals of agreement: Alignment patterns and zero marking across person categories

Balthasar Bickel*, Alena Witzlack-Makarevich, Taras Zakharko, Giorgio Iemmolo

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapterpeer-review

18 Scopus citations

Abstract

Two principles shaping agreement paradigms have been implicitly assumedto constitute diachronic universals: (i)ergativity is assumed to bemore likely to develop or be maintained in third than in non-third person; (ii) zeros are assumed to develop and be preserved more commonly in third than in non-third person. Estimating probabilities of diachronic change in a worldwide database and controling for areal diffusion effects, we find no evidence for (i). Principle (ii) receives no support either when examining how paradigms develop as systems, but we observe a weak cross-paradigm effect which is likely to be caused by frequency patterns during grammaticalization.

Original languageAmerican English
Title of host publicationAgreement from a Diachronic Perspective
PublisherWalter de Gruyter GmbH
Pages29-51
Number of pages23
Volume287
ISBN (Electronic)9783110399967
ISBN (Print)9783110373349
DOIs
StatePublished - 16 Jun 2015

Bibliographical note

Publisher Copyright:
© 2015 Walter de Gruyter GmbH, Berlin/Boston.

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