Article published in:Perspectives on Semantic Roles
Edited by Silvia Luraghi and Heiko Narrog
[Typological Studies in Language 106] 2014
► pp. 69–98
The grammaticalization chain of case functions
Extension and reanalysis of case marking vs. universals of grammaticalization
In the 1980s and 1990s, grammaticalization research brought forth a number of intriguing proposals concerning the directionality of extension and change between case functions, i.e. semantic roles. One of these proposals, by Heine et al. (1991), consisted in a single unidirectional chain of increasing grammaticalization of case functions, advancing from the spatial domain via an anthropocentric domain to inanimate and abstract domains, based on metaphorical extension. This bold proposal is still often referred to, but has proven to be problematic in some points, especially in the intermediate area of anthropocentric concepts. The present paper investigates this chain in detail, showing which hypothesized extensions still hold and which not. It is argued that the single chain is untenable and has to be broken up into at least two larger directionalities, one leading to the development of the expression of core participants, often triggered by constructional reanalysis, and the other leading to highly abstract, inanimate case roles. The application of the concept of metaphorical extension to the reanalysis cases is much less straightforward than that to the semantically motivated cases. However, the result of change is similar, as the semantic weight of the linguistic expression shifts practically completely to the nominal, and case marking becomes almost purely syntactic marking. Dative case functions are in an intermediate position leading to extensions both in the direction of core participants and to inanimate, abstract roles. Keywords: Grammaticalization; semantic roles; semantic maps; unidirectionality; case functions; metaphor
Published online: 19 August 2014
Anderson, Stephen R.
Bostoen, Koen & Nzang-Bie, Yolande
2006 The dative-ergative connection. In Empirical Issues in Syntax and Semantics 6, Olivier Bonami & Patricia Cabredo Hofherr (eds), 69–92. http://www.cssp.cnrs.fr/eiss6/index_en.html
Dressler, Wolfgang U.
Estival, Dominique & John Myhill
Gildea, Spike & de Castro Alves, Flavia
2013 Reflexive causative > passive in English and Cariban. Handout of presentation at the 21st Symposium About Language and Society-Austin (SALSA), 12 April 2013.
Harris, Alice C. & Campbell, Lyle
Heine, Bernd, Claudi, Ulrike & Hünnemeyer, Friederike
Heine, Bernd & Narrog, Heiko
2009 Possessive subjects, nominalization, and ergativity in North Russia. In Grammatical Change in Indo-European Languages. Papers Presented at the Workshop on Indo-European Linguistics at the XVIIIth International Conference on Historical Linguistics, Montreal, 2007. [Current Issues in Linguistic Theory 305], Vit Bubenik, John Hewson & Sarah Rose (eds), 207–220. Amsterdam: John Benjamins.
Keenan, Edward L. & Dryer, Matthew S.
Luján, Eugenio R.
2005 Paths of semantic extension. From cause to beneficiary and purpose. In Historical Linguistics 2003. Selected Papers from the 16th International Conference on Historical Linguistics, Copenhagen, 11–15 August 2003. [Current Issues in Linguistic Theory 257], Michael Fortescue, Eva Skafte Jensen, Jens Erik Mogensen & Lene Schøsler (eds), 141–157. Amsterdam: John Benjamins.
Malchukov, Andrej & Narrog, Heiko
Michaelis, Laura & Rosalie, Marcel
Narrog, Heiko & Ito, Shinya
Noonan, Michael & Mihas, Elena
2007 Areal dimensions in case syncretism: Ablatives and genitives. Paper presented at ALT VII, Paris, 25–28 September 2007.
OED = Oxford English Dictionary
, 3rd edn 2002 CD-Rom.
Palancar, Enrique L.
2008 Nepali ergativity: A historical perspective. Handout at the Workshop on Case and Alignment in Indo-European . University of Bergen, 10–11 December 2008.
Shibatani, Masayoshi & Pardeshi, Prashant
Stolz, Thomas, Stroh, Cornelia & Urdze, Aina
Trask, Robert L.
Verbeke, Saartje & De Cuypere, Ludovic
2004 A Typological, Historical, and Functional Study of Adpositions in the Languages of the World. Ph.D. dissertation, University of New Mexico.
2003 The Grammaticalization of Yu from a Verb to a Function Word. Ph.D. dissertation, University of Minnesota.
Cited by 2 other publications
Kuteva, Tania, Bernd Heine, Bo Hong, Haiping Long, Heiko Narrog & Seongha Rhee
This list is based on CrossRef data as of 03 june 2021. Please note that it may not be complete. Sources presented here have been supplied by the respective publishers. Any errors therein should be reported to them.