This book examines historical changes in the grammar of the Indo-Aryan languages from the period of their earliest attestations in Vedic Sanskrit (around 1000 bc) to contemporary Hindi. Uta Reinoehl focuses specifically on the rise of configurational structure as a by-product of the grammaticalization of postpositions: while Vedic Sanskrit lacks function words that constrain nominal expressions into phrasal units - one of the characteristics of a
non-configurational language - New Indo-Aryan languages have postpositions which organize nominal expressions into postpositional phrases. The grammaticalization of postpositions and the concomitant syntactic changes are traced through the three millennia of Indo-Aryan attested history with a focus on Vedic Sanskrit,
Middle Indic Pali and Apabhramsha, Early New Indic Old Awadhi, and finally Hindi. Among the topics discussed are the constructions in which the postpositions grammaticalize, the origins of the postpositional template, and the paradigmatization of the various elements involved into a single functional class of postpositions. The book outlines how it is semantic and pragmatic changes that induce changes on the expression side, ultimately resulting in the establishment of phrasal, and thus
low-level configurational, syntax.