Grammatic(al)ization (fwd)

Jon Aske jaske at ABACUS.BATES.EDU
Sun Oct 29 02:05:54 UTC 1995

David Stampe said:
| Jon Aske <jaske at ABACUS.BATES.EDU> ask[e]s
|    All I'm saying is that we need an inclusive term to group all
|    (diachronic) changes which affect the grammar, and if we don't use
|    grammatic(al)ization, then what else could we use?
| Why not "changes"?

That's a good question, which I guess shows perhaps how much we're still
in the dark here (I mean the fact that the answer is not obvious does).

My first reaction would be to say that "changes" is too inclusive.
Supposedly there are emic-type changes which affect the grammatical system
(for reasons having to do with the automatization of communication
routines, which in turn are constrained by our cognitive makeup), and
there are other (more etic) types of changes.

Of course, it is true that emic changes have their start as etic changes,
in grammar proper as well as (perhaps more obviously so) in phonology.
Grammaticalization would be the grammatical analog (loosely speaking) of
phonologization perhaps?

Of course, some might say that in grammar, unlike in phonetics/phonology,
all changes are meaningful, and thus there is no such thing as etic
changes.  All changes are emic, although changes may be more or less
tightly integrated in the "system", more or less incipient/emergent.  That
would be a pretty good point.

Perhaps David is right and they're all just changes.  I guess I better get
back to my dissertation too (like Joyce), cause it's several years overdue
;), and let other people argue this one out.


Jon Aske  /  jaske at (Bates) / jonaske at (UCB)

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