The formation of future markers from distinct lexical sources or from similar sources under specific circumstances follows universal pathways. It is standardly agreed that grammaticalization is a process which encompasses a range of changes which involve desemanticization (loss of meaning), decategorialization (loss of categorical features), generalization (use extended to new contexts), and phonetic reduction. The paper assumes that the b-prefix derives from two distinct lexical sources: volitional (encoding future) and prepositional (encoding indicative mood, progressive, and habitual aspect), and that the morphological overlap of these two prefixes is a mere coincidence. The paper will concentrate on the development of the future marker (b-prefix) from a verbal noun of volition in Syrian Arabic. The main goal is to explicate the nature of the grammaticalization paths of the b-future in Syrian Arabic based on synchronic data. The paper posits that the verbal noun of volition has undergone semantic, structural, and phonological changes.
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