The Evolution of Grammar
Tense, Aspect, and Modality in the Languages of the World
Through a survey of seventy-six languages in twenty-five different phyla, the authors show that the same paths of change occur universally and that movement along these paths is in one direction only. This analysis reveals that lexical substance evolves into grammatical substance through various mechanisms of change, such as metaphorical extension and the conventionalization of implicature. Grammaticization is always accompanied by an increase in frequency of the grammatical marker, providing clear evidence that language use is a major factor in the evolution of synchronic language states.
The Evolution of Grammar has important implications for the development of language and for the study of cognitive processes in general.
Preface and Acknowledgments
1. Theoretical Background
2. Method Used in the Study
3. Anterior, Perfective, and Related Senses
4. A Quantitative Approach to Grammaticization
5. Progressive, Imperfective, Present, and Related Senses
6. Mood and Modality
8. Mechanisms of Semantic Change
Appendix A: Gramcats Sampling Procedure
Appendix B: Meaning Labels
Appendix C: Sources of Language Data
Bibliography for Gramcats Sample