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On degrammaticalization: controversial points and possible explanations


Viti, Carlotta (2015). On degrammaticalization: controversial points and possible explanations. Folia Linguistica, 49(2):381-419.

Abstract

This paper discusses the problem of degrammaticalization, that is, the exceptions to the unidirectionality of grammaticalization. After analyzing the criteria that allow us to distinguish between various instances of counter-directional change, two principles underlying degrammaticalization are identified; one is related to the type of language and the other to the type of target structures in which degrammaticalization occurs. Firstly, the targets of degrammaticalization are usually closed-class parts of speech with an abstract semantic component. Secondly, the languages in which counter-directional grammatical changes occur turn out to be deprived of an elaborate fusional morphology. These findings may also have an impact on the theoretical conception of grammaticalization, some of whose definitional properties are discussed. The paper ends with a discussion of a more controversial point, namely, counter-directional changes by folk etymology rather than by etymology proper.

Abstract

This paper discusses the problem of degrammaticalization, that is, the exceptions to the unidirectionality of grammaticalization. After analyzing the criteria that allow us to distinguish between various instances of counter-directional change, two principles underlying degrammaticalization are identified; one is related to the type of language and the other to the type of target structures in which degrammaticalization occurs. Firstly, the targets of degrammaticalization are usually closed-class parts of speech with an abstract semantic component. Secondly, the languages in which counter-directional grammatical changes occur turn out to be deprived of an elaborate fusional morphology. These findings may also have an impact on the theoretical conception of grammaticalization, some of whose definitional properties are discussed. The paper ends with a discussion of a more controversial point, namely, counter-directional changes by folk etymology rather than by etymology proper.

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Additional indexing

Item Type:Journal Article, refereed, original work
Communities & Collections:06 Faculty of Arts > Department of Greek and Latin Philology
Dewey Decimal Classification:470 Latin & Italic languages
480 Classical & modern Greek languages
Uncontrolled Keywords:grammaticalization; degrammaticalization; unidirectionality; parts of speech; fusional morphology; folk etymology
Language:English
Date:November 2015
Deposited On:23 Dec 2015 10:35
Last Modified:11 Nov 2016 01:00
Publisher:De Gruyter
ISSN:0165-4004
Publisher DOI:https://doi.org/10.1515/flin-2015-0014

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