On Secondary Grammaticalization: The Case of hatta in Rural Jordanian Arabic


Secondary grammaticalization is viewed as a continuation to a grammaticalization path (Traugott 2002) or an independent process that does not necessarily imply the occurrence of a precedent primary grammaticalization (Givón 1991). This paper provides a case from vernacular Arabic supporting the second view, namely, the secondary grammaticalization of the functional hatta (its evolution into a proclitic) in Rural Jordanian Arabic. Evidence supporting this view is the selectivity of secondary grammaticalization, which can be summarized as follows: if the source grammatical item has more than one type (i.e., function), some of these types may not undergo secondary grammaticalization. This implies that secondary grammaticalization may not be a late stage completing a grammaticalization path. It can be an independent process that has its own peculiarities and constraints. The constraint, which is the source of selectivity of secondary grammaticalization in this paper, is linked to prosodic prominence: if a grammatical item is typically prominent prosodically in daily conversations, it resists secondary grammaticalization. This finding should also contribute to the previously reported constraints on secondary grammaticalization. In addition to selectivity, it is reported in this paper that the lexical source of the grammatical hatta does not seem necessary to its secondary grammaticalization.


Abdulazeez Jaradat


hatta, increase in bondedness, lexical source, prosodic constraint, Rural Jordanian Arabic, secondary grammaticalization.