Typology of Northern Eurasia: Prosody – part three

(This is the third part of a post on prosody in Northern Eurasiahere is the second)

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Typological cycles, spirals and other graphs

A rather old idea exists in linguistics that is still occasionally invoked of a cycle of flective types:

… → Isolating → Agglunative → Fusional → Isolating → …

This is criticized by Martin Haspelmath, an influential typologist. He instead proposes the “anasynthetic spiral”, the pattern of new analytic forms built from content words arising and eventually grammaticalizing, potentially replacing older synthetic forms if they were existent. I think that we can afford to consider patterns of language change more generally.

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