True, liminal and fake prototypes in syntactic typology
Gradience in syntax is often described as having prototype-based architecture. However, the syntactic prototypes postulated in literature are not all alike. In this paper, we distinguish between (i) true prototypes, which are based on clear linguistic evidence, (ii) liminal prototypes, which are associated with diachronically unstable patterns and hence cannot be precisely determined, and (iii) fake prototypes, which are based on effects that only reflect the diversity of sources of a phenomenon. In relation to these three kinds of concepts, we discuss relative clause constructions, serial verb constructions and the notion of subject.