Linguistics Department

Colloquium - Ashwini Deo (Yale/UT) "The semantic and pragmatic underpinnings of grammaticalization paths: The progressive and the imperfective"

Mon, November 12, 2012 | CAL 100

3:00 PM - 4:30 PM

This talk offers an analysis of a robustly attested semantic change in which expressions of progressive aspect diachronically grammaticalize into expressions of imperfective aspect. The proposal has a semantic component that characterizes the logical relation between PROG and IMPF aspectual operators in terms of asymmetric entailment. The pragmatic component, implemented in a QUD-based model, explicates the contextual conditions and effects that propel  the inflationary use of PROG-marked utterances. The two-part analysis presented here  is intended to be an application of a  generalizable model of semantic change in which the greater informativity associated with some construction X relative to its alternative Y is responsible for both the recruitment and inflation in use of X, ultimately leading to a takeover of Y by X over time.

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