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The Typology of Semantic Alignment$
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Mark Donohue and Søren Wichmann

Print publication date: 2008

Print ISBN-13: 9780199238385

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: January 2009

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780199238385.001.0001

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The emergence of agentive systems in core argument marking

The emergence of agentive systems in core argument marking

Chapter:
(p.297) 12 The emergence of agentive systems in core argument marking
Source:
The Typology of Semantic Alignment
Author(s):

Marianne Mithun

Publisher:
Oxford University Press
DOI:10.1093/acprof:oso/9780199238385.003.0012

It has been proposed that patterns of core argument categorization, sometimes termed ‘alignment’, are highly stable over time. Certain language families, however, show evidence of relatively recent shifts in these patterns. Agent/patient patterns in particular, which are considered rare, show strong areal concentrations in certain regions such as North America. This chapter examines situations that can trigger such shifts, mechanisms of diffusion, and the traces they can leave behind.

Keywords:   stability, diffusion, agent, patient, native North American languages, diachrony

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