A note on the emotive origins of syntax
In this note, I ask what (if any) linguistic means above the word level might have already been in place before our full-blown syntactic capacity involving recursive Merge has evolved. I argue that the ‘pre-Merge era’ might have been characterized by paratactic emotive utterances comparable to root small clauses in modern languages. At the end of this contribution, this new emotive perspective on so-called ‘living linguistic fossils’ is extended to the core syntactic property of displacement, which features an augmentation strategy in the form of multiple copies that is reminiscent of doubling and reduplication processes involved in conveying expressive meaning components.
Keywords: evolution of language, expressive meaning, paratactic stage, small clauses, syntax
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Published online: 24 April 2019
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