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The History of Negation in the Languages of Europe and the MediterraneanVolume II: Patterns and Processes$
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Anne Breitbarth, Christopher Lucas, and David Willis

Print publication date: 2020

Print ISBN-13: 9780199602544

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: May 2020

DOI: 10.1093/oso/9780199602544.001.0001

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External motivations for change in indefinite systems

External motivations for change in indefinite systems

(p.222) 7 External motivations for change in indefinite systems
The History of Negation in the Languages of Europe and the Mediterranean

Anne Breitbarth

Christopher Lucas

David Willis

Oxford University Press

This chapter turns to external motivations for changes in the licensing conditions of indefinites and in their series formation. It is shown by means of selected examples that language contact is not so much responsible for triggering the quantifier or free-choice cycles, but rather that the distribution of individual indefinites as well as of entire series may be influenced by patterns in contact languages. This may lead for instance to the imposition of negative concord, or the restructuring of an entire indefinite system after the model of a contact language. The chapter furthermore addresses the role of variation within the diasystem of one language for the advancement of changes affecting indefinites in the scope of negation.

Keywords:   quantifier cycle, language contact, imposition, borrowing, diasystematic variation, change from below

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