Language contact interaction and possessive variation
journal contributionposted on 02.06.2017 by McConvell, Patrick
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This paper focuses on contact interaction in the development of possessive constructions. In contrast to 'copying' approaches to structural diffusion, contact interaction approaches recognise that internal and external models interact, often to produce innovation and variation. Some examples of this in possessive constructions from early English and pidgins and Creoles are explored, including the question of 'for' and its equivalents becoming postposed including in Australian Creoles. Two theories of how adoption of structures from external sources can be staged and modified, that of Carol Myers-Scotton (the 4-M Model) and Ross's Metatypy model are compared with examples from possessives, as well as Aikhenvald's treatment of possessive construction diffusion in the Amazon. There appears to be common ground between these approaches, and the contact interaction approach in general.