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Presentation . 2022
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Architectural constraints vs. efficiency constraints: Argument coding and verbal voice coding

Authors: Haspelmath, Martin;

Architectural constraints vs. efficiency constraints: Argument coding and verbal voice coding

Abstract

In this talk, I discuss several universals of argument coding and verbal voice coding and argue that they can be explained on the basis of efficiency of coding, i.e. a tradeoff between speaker and hearer needs (a functional-adaptive explanation). These constructions have often been discussed in a generative context, where explanations have been expected to come from innate architectural and substantive biocognitive constraints (“UG”). I observe that the generative proposals have not converged, while the coding asymmetries that are the focus of my work have proved robust and ubiquitous in grammar.

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