The diachrony of morphosyntactic alignment

Zúñiga, Fernando (2018). The diachrony of morphosyntactic alignment. Language and linguistics compass, 12(9), e12300. Wiley 10.1111/lnc3.12300

[img] Text
Z--iga-2018-Language_and_Linguistics_Compass.pdf - Published Version
Restricted to registered users only
Available under License Publisher holds Copyright.

Download (717kB) | Request a copy
[img] Text
Alignment diachrony REVISED online.pdf - Accepted Version
Restricted to registered users only until 1 August 2020.
Available under License Publisher holds Copyright.

Download (253kB) | Request a copy

With morphological and syntactic argument properties, some arguments behave alike (i.e., they align with each other) while others do not. Such alignment patterns have received significant attention in the literature, but claims as to their origin and development are sometimes difficult to assess, due to scant actual data. This paper surveys the main hypotheses proposed in early and recent work on the topic, focusing on alignment type change and on major alignment types (ergativity, accusativity, and split intransitivity) of morphological properties, with some remarks on syntactic properties. The survey shows that alignment type change may often occur when clauses denoting low transitivity are reanalyzed as clauses of either higher or lower syntactic valency, sometimes even introducing a partition in the verbal lexicon (occasionally being conditioned by semantic, pragmatic, or structural factors), or are extended from low‐transitivity predicates to most bivalent predicates. Lastly, alignment type change can be either functionally motivated or not.

Item Type:

Journal Article (Original Article)


06 Faculty of Humanities > Department of Linguistics and Literary Studies > Institute of Linguistics

UniBE Contributor:

Zúñiga, Fernando


400 Language > 410 Linguistics
400 Language > 490 Other languages








Fernando Zúñiga

Date Deposited:

07 Aug 2018 10:24

Last Modified:

23 Oct 2019 18:52

Publisher DOI:





Actions (login required)

Edit item Edit item
Provide Feedback