The Universal Tendency for Renewal among Grammatical Expressions for Anterior and Related Aspect

Aaron Smith 1
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1Illinois State University

Copyright ⓒ 2016, Sejong University Language Research Institue. This is an Open-Access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution Non-Commercial License ( which permits unrestricted non-commercial use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.

Published Online: Jan 01, 2017


This study investigates the synchronic distribution of grammatical expressions (grams) along the path of grammaticization for anterior and diachronically related senses. I use the synchronic distribution of these grams as a means of inferring their diachronic behavior, particularly in terms of renewal, defined as the ‘refilling’ of a given semantic domain in the on-going process of grammaticization. The data support the hypothesis that there is a robust tendency for renewal among grams expressing anterior and related senses and therefore suggests certain stability in the shape of tense/aspect systems in the languages of the world, at least for this set of grams.

Keywords: grammaticization; diachrony; tense/aspect; layering; renewal



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