Tense, but in the mood : diachronic perspectives on the representation of time in Ao
Coupe, Alexander R.
Date of Issue2013
School of Humanities and Social Sciences
Ao demonstrates some typologically intriguing characteristics that shed light on the diachronic development of its tense marking morphology. The paper proposes that the language originally had a binary mood system contrasting azero-marked realis with an overtly marked irrealis mood. It then extended the functions of two of its nominalizers to encoding temporal distinctions, and the old zero-marked realis mood became integrated into the newly grammaticalized system of temporal deixis as the zero-marked past tense category. The irrealis marker occurs in paradigmatic opposition with these newly grammaticalized tense markers, but continues to encode an independent category of mood that is not constrained to any particular temporal deictic setting. Drawing on additional evidence from other languages, it is demonstrated that nominalizing morphology turns out to be a rather commonly exploited source for the grammaticalization of tense markers.
Language and linguistics
© 2013 The Author (Language and Linguistics). This paper was published in Language and Linguistics and is made available as an electronic reprint (preprint) with permission of The Author (Language and Linguistics). The paper can be found at the following official URL: [http://www.ling.sinica.edu.tw/files/publication/j2013_6_05_2678.pdf]. One print or electronic copy may be made for personal use only. Systematic or multiple reproduction, distribution to multiple locations via electronic or other means, duplication of any material in this paper for a fee or for commercial purposes, or modification of the content of the paper is prohibited and is subject to penalties under law.