Alexander Andrason


This paper demonstrates that by applying Chaos Theory to the modelling of the evolution of verbal forms and verbal systems, it is possible to view classical grammaticalization paths as universal, and align this deterministic assumption with the unpredictability of concrete grammatical developments. The author argues that such an explanation is possible because traditional grammaticalization paths do not represent realistic cases of grammatical evolutions, but rather correspond to abstract and non-realistic deterministic laws which codify the order of the incorporation of new meanings to the semantic potential of a gram. Therefore, from a synchronic perspective, they can be used to represent the semantic potential of a form as a map or a state. In contrast, a realistic development emerges as a trajectory connecting such maps or states. Consequently, the cross-linguistic typological model of realistic evolutionary processes of a certain type corresponds to a state-space – it is a cluster of all possible trajectories the grams of a certain class can travel. This article – the second of series of three papers – will deal with a principled application of Chaos Theory to linguistics and with a new alternative interpretation of paths postulated by Path Theory.

Słowa kluczowe: grammaticalization paths, verbal semantics, Chaos Theory, Cognitive Linguistics, semantic maps

Andrason A. 2010a. The Akkadian Iprus from the unidirectional perspective. – Journal of Semitic Studies 55.2: 325–345.

Andrason A. 2010b. The panchronic yiqtol. Functionally consistent and cognitively plausi­ble. – Journal of Hebrew Scriptures 10.10: 1–63.

Andrason A. 2011a. The Biblical Hebrew verbal system in light of grammaticalization – the second generation. – Hebrew Studies 52: 19–53.

Andrason A. 2011b. The Biblical Hebrew Wayyiqtol – a dynamic definition. – Journal of Hebrew Scriptures 11.7: 1–50.

Andrason A. 2012a Thermodynamic model of the Biblical Hebrew verbal system. – Eades D. (ed.). Grammaticalisation in Semitic. [Journal of Semitic Studies Supplement Series 29.] Oxford: 146–163.

Andrason A. 2012b. Making it sound – Performative qatal and its explanation. – Journal of Hebrew Scriptures 12.8: 1–58.

Andrason A. 2013a. El sistema verbal hebreo en su contexto semítico: una visión dinámica. Estella.

Andrason A. 2013b. The map of the meaning of the be riŋ formation in Basse Mandinka. – Journal of West African Languages 40.2: 101–133.

Andrason A. 2013c. An optative indicative? A real factual past? A cognitive-typological approach to the precative qatal. – Journal of Hebrew Scriptures 13.4: 1–41.

Andrason A. 2015. Toward the ocean of the Biblical Hebrew verbal system. – Folia Orientalia 52:15–36.

Andrason A. 2016. A complex system of complex predicates: Tense, taxis, aspect and mood in Basse Mandinka from a grammaticalization and cognitive Perspective. [PhD Dissertation, University of Stellenbosch].

Auyang S. 1998a. How science comprehends chaos. [Paper presented at the Department of the History of Science Harvard University. February 23, 1998;].

Auyang S. 1998b. Foundations of complex-system theories. Cambridge.

Bertinetto P.M., Lenci A. 2010. Iterativity vs. habituality (and gnomic imperfectivity). – Quaderni del Laboratorio di Linguistica 9.1: 1–46.

Bybee J., Perkins R., Pagliuca W. 1994. The evolution of grammar. Chicago.

Bybee J. 2010. Language, usage and cognition. Cambridge.

Cooper D. 1999. Linguistics attractors: The cognitive dynamics of language acquisition and change. Amsterdam.

Dahl Ö. 2000a. The tense and aspect systems of European languages in a typological perspec­tive. – Dahl Ö. (ed.). Tense and aspect in the languages of Europe. Berlin: 3–25.

Dahl Ö. (ed.). 2000b. Tense and aspect in the languages of Europe. Berlin.

De Haan F. 2010. Building a semantic map: Top-down versus bottom-up approaches. – Lin­guistic Discovery 8.1: 102–117.

De Haan F. 2011. Typology of tense, aspect, and modality systems. – Song J.J. (ed.). The Oxford handbook of linguistic typology. Oxford: 445–464.

Devaney R. 1989. An introduction to chaotic dynamical systems. Redwood City.

Diéguez Lucena A. 2010. Filosofía de la ciencia. Madrid.

Dimitrov V. 2002. Introduction to fuzziology. – Dimitrov V., Korotkich V. (eds.). Fuzzy logic: A framework for the New Millennium. Heidelberg, New York: 9–26.

Dimitrov V. 2005. Introduction to fuzziology: Study of fizziness of knowing. Morrisville.

Dimitrov V., Hodge B. 2002. Why does fuzzy logic need the challenge of social complex­ity. – Dimitrov V, Korotkich V. (eds.). Fuzzy logic: A framework for the New Millennium. Heidelberg, New York: 27–44.

Grevisse M. 1975. Le bon usage [10th edition]. Gembloux.

Harris M. 1982. The ‘past simple’ and the ‘present perfect’ in Romance. – Vincent N., Har­ris M. (eds.). Studies in the Romance verb. London: 42–70.

Haspelmath M. 2003. The geometry of grammatical meaning semantic maps and cross-linguistic comparison. – Tomasello M. (ed.). The new psychology of language. Mahwah: 211–242.

Heine B., Claudi U, Hünnemeyer F. 1991. Grammaticalization. A conceptual framework. Chicago.

Heine B., Kuteva T. 2006. The changing languages of Europe. Oxford.

Heine B., Kuteva T. 2007. The genesis of grammar: A reconstruction. Oxford.

Jónsson J.G. 1992. The two perfects of Icelandic. – Íslenskt mál 14: 129–145.

Kretzschmar W. 2015. Language and complex system. Cambridge.

Larsen-Freeman D. 1997. Chaos/complexity science and language acquisition. – Applied Lin­guistics 18: 141–165.

Lewandowska-Tomaszczyk B. 2007. Polysemy, prototypes, and radical categories. – Geeraerts D., Cuyckens H. (eds.). Handbook of cognitive linguistics. Oxford: 139–169.

Lindstedt J. 2000. The perfect – aspectual, temporal and evidential. – Dahl Ö. (ed.). Tense and aspect in the languages of Europe. Berlin: 365–383.

Luisi P.L. 2010. The emergence of life: From chemical origins to synthetic biology. Cambridge.

Massip-Bonet À. 2013. Languages as a complex adaptive system: Towards an integrative linguistics. – Massip-Bonet À., Bastardas-Boada A. (eds.). Complexity perspectives on language, communication and society. Heidelberg: 35–60.

Massip-Bonet À., Bastardas-Boada A. (eds.). 2013. Complexity perspectives on language, communication and society. Heidelberg.

McCawley J. 1971. Tense and time reference in English. – Fillmore C., Langendoen D.T. (eds.). Studies in Linguistics and Semantics. New York: 96–113.

Munné F. 2013. The fuzzy complexity of language. – Massip-Bonet À., Bastardas-Boada A. (eds.). Complexity Perspectives on Language, Communication and Society. Heidelberg: 175–196.

Narrog H., van der Auwera J. 2011. Grammaticalization and semantic maps. – Narrog H., Heine B. (eds.). The Oxford handbook of grammaticalization. Oxford: 318–327.

Nedjalkov V. 2001. Resultative constructions. – Haspelmath M. et al. (eds.). Language ty­pology and language universals: An international handbook. [vol. 2]. Berlin: 928–940.

Nedjalkov V., Jaxontov S. 1988. The typology of resultative constructions. – Nedjalkov V. (ed.). Typology of resultative constructions. Amsterdam, Philadelphia: 3–62.

Schneider E. 1997. Chaos theory as a model for dialect variability and change? –Thomas A. (ed.). Issues and methods in dialectology. Bangor: 22–36.

Schneider E. 2013. Chaos theory. – Kortmann B. (ed.). Wörterbücher zur Sprach- und Ko­munikationswissenschaft / [Dictionaries of Linguistics and Communication Science. 11: Theories and Methods in Linguistics]. Berlin, New York.

Smith P. 1998. Explaining Chaos. Cambridge.

Squartini M., Bertinetto P.M. 2000. The simple and compound past in Romance languages. – Dahl Ö. (ed.). Tense and aspect in the languages of Europe. Berlin: 385–402.

Strogatz S. 1994. Nonlinear dynamics and chaos: With applications to physics, biology, chem­istry, and engineering. New York.

Traugott E. 2001. Legitimate counterexamples to unidirectionality. [Paper presented at Freiburg University, October 17th 2001;].

Van der Auwera J., Gast V. 2011. Categories and prototypes. – Song J.J. (ed.). The Oxford handbook of typology. Oxford: 166–189.

Wildgen W. 1982. Catastrophe theoretic semantics. An elaboration and application of René Thom’s theory. Amsterdam.

Wildgen W. 1983. Modelling vagueness in catastrophe theoretic semantics. – Ballmer T., Pinkal M. (eds.). Approaching vagueness. North-Holland, Amsterdam: 317–360.

Wildgen W. 1998. Chaos, fractals and dissipative structures in language or the end of lin­guistic structuralism. – Koch W., Altmann G. (eds.). Systems: New paradigms for the human sciences. Berlin: 596–620.

Wildgen W. 2004. The evolution of human languages. Scenarios, principles, and cultural dynamics. Amsterdam.

Wildgen W. 2005. Catastrophe theoretical models in semantics. – Köhler R., Altmann G., Piotrowski R. (eds.). Internationales Handbuch der quantitativen Linguistik. Berlin: 410–422.

Wildgen W., Plath P.J. 2005. Katastrophen- und Chaostheories in der linguistischen Mod­ellbildung. – Köhler R., Altmann G., Piotrowski R. (eds.). Internationales Handbuch der quantitativen Linguistik. Berlin: 688–704.

Zadeh L. 1973. Outline of a new approach to the analysis complex systems and decision processes. – IEEE Transactions on Systems, Man, and Cybernetics 3: 28–44.