Grammaticalization, grammaticization, etc.

Bill Croft W.Croft at MANCHESTER.AC.UK
Tue Oct 31 11:27:35 UTC 1995

Although there seems to be a dialectal split among functionalists
in the use of the terms "grammaticalization" and "grammaticization",
I actually think there is a substantive distinction to be made, for which
I try to use these two terms:

GRAMMATICIZATION: the process by which some grammatical construction
becomes a conventional linguistic unit (cf. Langacker, "Foundations of
cognitive grammar", Vol. I, chapter 2)

GRAMMATICALIZATION: the process by which certain types of conventional
linguistic units become certain other types of conventional linguistic units,
specifically syntactic constructions with characteristic lexemes become
"smaller" syntactic constructions or single words with affixes---the
kinds of phonological, morphosyntactic and "functional" processes
discussed by C. Lehmann, Heine et al., Hopper & Traugott etc.

I also believe these are two different kinds of historical processes (two of
many, by the way; there are lots of other kinds of historical linguistic
processes). Grammaticization is "from discourse to syntax", and has to do
with the interplay between how our linguistic knowledge is stored in the mind
and used in social interaction. Its central concern should be (in my
opinion) how
linguistic convention is established. But of course looking at grammaticization
tells us a lot about the nature of discourse as well---of great interest to
functionalists (well, at least some functionalists).

Grammaticalization, on the other hand, has to do with the restructuring of
linguistic signs, that is pairings of form and meaning. Change in both the
signifier and the signified, of a particular type whose true nature still eludes
us (in my opinion) is involved in grammaticalization. Here the central concern
should be the interrelationship between signifier and signified. But of
course looking
at grammaticalization tells us lot about conceptual semantic structure---of
great interest to functionalists (well, at least some functionalists).

Grammaticalization will always involve grammaticization though. Any language
change must start off as an innovation which is not the conventional way for
expressing the conceptual content (or discourse function). That innovation must
become conventionalized---grammaticized, in the sense I am suggesting---for
the item in question to become further grammaticALized.

  (I must admit that potential confusion invites the use of
for "grammaticization" in the sense I am suggesting.)

Bill Croft

Dept of Linguistics, U Manchester, Oxford Rd, Manchester M13 9PL, UK
w.croft at   FAX: +44-161-275 3187  Phone: 275 3188

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