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date: 17 January 2021

Abstract and Keywords

This article examines the relevance of grammaticalisation to language evolution. It discusses the evolution of language, the pathways of grammaticalisation, the cognitive basis of grammaticalisation, and protolanguage and pre-linguistic communication. The analysis reveals that cognitive mechanisms underpinning grammaticalisation are not specifically linguistic, but derive from the principles of ostensive-inferential communication. Thus, it is reasonable to assume that pre-linguistic communication was based on these same principles, which allows us to gain insights into how language evolved from a non-linguistic state by studying grammaticalisation.

Keywords: grammaticalisation, language evolution, cognitive basis, protolanguage, pre-linguistic communication, cognitive mechanisms, ostensive-inferential communication

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