From Deixis to Grammar: The Case of the Element 'Ta' in Arabic
37 Pages Posted: 10 Oct 2013
Date Written: October 8, 2013
This paper investigates the claim that language change (grammaticalization) is driven by cognitive processes, such as schemas and their instantiations. Instead of determining linear stages relating successive states in language evolution, we argue that cognitive schemas are the source of prototypical paths that linguistic items go through in a parallel diffusive fashion during use. The analysis is based on data from Arabic (Classical and colloquial) related to the deictic element ta used in a variety of lexical, morphological, and syntactic constructs. The study proceeds by presenting an overview of the synchronic variation patterns of the element ta and investigating the different cognitive processes involved in all the instantiations of the schema BE IN FRONT OF associated to the element ta.
Keywords: Arabic, deictics, grammaticalization, prototype, schema
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