Part ofNew Directions in Grammaticalization Research
Edited by Andrew D.M. Smith, Graeme Trousdale and Richard Waltereit
[Studies in Language Companion Series 166] 2015
► pp. 231–260
In this paper I will demonstrate how a series of micro changes are related within the synchronic gradience of the item take in Western metropolitan varieties of Nigerian Pidgin (NigP). I will show that take functions as a main verb, as an instrumental serial verb and as an incipient modal verb. While the presence of serial verb constructions (SVCs) can be attributed to a calque from the Kwa/Benue-Congo substrates, I will make an argument for an internal and gradual path of grammaticalisation from serial to modal take, due to the re-bracketing of the collocation take+V2 as a non-serial VP. I will support my claims with an analysis of take’s occurrences in a corpus of NigP collected in Lagos in 2007.