criticisms of grammaticalization

Rob Freeman lists at
Mon Feb 27 09:40:59 UTC 2006


An aside: must we constantly equate epiphenomena with evolution? The results 
of some kinds of evolution may be epiphenomena, but the two are not the same.

Take a classic demonstration of an epiphenomenon in Conway's 
"Life" ('s_Game_of_Life). The "glider" 
moves across the screen. This movement is an epiphenomenon, but it is not 

This distinction is important. For instance I believe grammar to be an 
epiphenomenon of corpus generalization. Most people confuse this with the 
gradual evolution of grammar, and so miss my argument completely.

I think the association of Paul Hopper's emergent grammar with 
grammaticalization is an error of the same kind, perhaps one largely shared 
by Paul himself.

Anyway, back to the point. What were Newmeyer etc's arguments against the 
explanatory power of an epiphenomenon, Martin?


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