From transitive to causative in Japanese
Morphologization through exaptation
Modern Japanese has a morphological causative, formed by suffixes on the verb, and lexical causatives. The morphological causative has been in use since Late Old Japanese. However, the etymology of this morphological causative and the status of related causative formations in Old Japanese remain unclear. This paper supports the view that lexical causative formations in Old Japanese are the direct predecessors of the morphological causative. In their morphological, syntactic, and semantic features they form a chain of morphologization with the productive causative that emerged from them. Similar diachronic developments have also been observed in Sanskrit and North American languages. Thus, the formation of a morphological causative from a lexical pattern, a path of development that has received little attention, seems to constitute a crosslinguistically valid source for the evolution of productive causatives. It is proposed that the type of change observed here is an exaptation of fossilized morphological material, which, in several important aspects, runs counter to the directionality of change posited in mainstream grammaticalization theory.
Keywords: exaptation, grammaticalization, morphologization, Japanese, causatives, Sanskrit, language change, transitivity
Published online: 22 December 2004
Cited by 4 other publications
Fernández Cuesta, Julia
Van de Velde, Freek & Muriel Norde
This list is based on CrossRef data as of 23 july 2021. Please note that it may not be complete. Sources presented here have been supplied by the respective publishers. Any errors therein should be reported to them.