Paul J Hopper ph1u+ at ANDREW.CMU.EDU
Mon Jul 21 12:48:03 UTC 1997

Jean Hudson brings our attention to an interesting issue. Usually by the
time we are sufficently aware of the grammatical status of a form or a
construction, it is already clearly grammatical. What about the
preceding stages? The earlier history not only raises the question of
how fixed a form has to be before it is said to be fixed, but it also
tests our conception of 'grammatical' and 'grammar', both of which are
prerequisites to 'grammaticalization', in relation to specific kinds of
discourse context, genres, and other messy issues.
Some recent discussion that comes to mind (there's lots more; perhaps
others can eke this out, and I apologize if I've left out something
obvious): Several papers in the Traugott/Heine volumes deal with the
discourse contexts and genres of incipient grammaticalization (e.g.,
Chr. Lehmann, Nichols/Timberlake, Herring, Hopper), see also Carey's and
Slobin's papers on the perfect in the Pagliuca volume. I discuss this
very question in my paper for the volume Anna Giacalone and I are
editing on 'The Limits of Grammaticalization'.

- Paul Hopper

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