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Evolution of Applicatives

From:Chris Bates <chris.maths_student@...>
Date:Tuesday, November 9, 2004, 17:24
 For the language I was talking about recently on the list, I would really like
to know how a language can evolve applicatives if it doesn't already have them.
I always have problems with things like that: I can understand how existing
structures etc can be reanalysed as having new meanings, and how sound changes
etc can remove distinctions, but I don't quite understand how a language with
nothing at all similar already can gain things like applicatives. But since
some languages have them, it must be possible... on a related note, are there
any ergative languages which have applicatives? And if there are, do they
promote arguments to Absolutive? Since Absolute is the core case in an ergative
language is seems less likely somehow than Accusative languages promoting
arguments to Direct Object...

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Steven Williams <feurieaux@...>