[Lingtyp] grammaticalized v grammaticized

Bill Palmer bill.palmer at newcastle.edu.au
Sat Jun 8 21:10:52 EDT 2019


Dear all

Juergen's email prompts me to ask a question I'd be interested to get people's thoughts on.

What is the relationship between the terms grammaticalized and grammaticized? I use them to refer to different things, but I don’t know to what extent my usage corresponds to others' understandings.

I use grammaticized to refer to a synchronic situation, and grammaticalized to refer to a diachronic process. For example, I would say that the category of auditory evidentiality ("I heard [X happen]") is grammaticized in language X, meaning that the category is expressed in the language by a grammatical form; and I would say that the verb 'hear' has grammaticalized as an evidential marker in language X, meaning that a form with a lexical meaning has developed into a grammatical marker of some kind.

Does this accord with anyone else's understanding of these terms? Apologies if there's some obvious literature on this I have missed.

Best
Bill Palmer

-----Original Message-----
From: Lingtyp <lingtyp-bounces at listserv.linguistlist.org> On Behalf Of Bohnemeyer, Juergen
Sent: Saturday, 8 June 2019 12:26 AM
To: David Gil <gil at shh.mpg.de>
Cc: Stephanie Evers <saevers at buffalo.edu>; lingtyp at listserv.linguistlist.org
Subject: Re: [Lingtyp] Glossed corpora of languages w/o grammaticalized definiteness marking

Dear David — Good point! We use ‘definiteness’ to denote a variety of similar language-specific semantic categories that characterize the discourse status of a nominal in terms of its referent being discourse-old, previously mentioned (etc.), and/or otherwise uniquely identifiable to the interlocutors. Since unique identifiability may be conferred by the speech situation, we require that candidate devices not be restricted to exophoric (spatial) reference in their regular uses. 

What we mean by ‘grammaticalized’ is that the language has a particle, function word, or inflection that is routinely used by the speakers of the language to express the semantic category in question. For illustration, I would assume (perhaps wrongly so) that it is possible in any language to use demonstratives to indicate ‘definiteness’, including in Russian - but Russian speakers, so far as I know (and so far as Stephanie Evers, the student working on this project, was able to show in her Qualifying Paper), do not regularly use demonstratives for this purpose, at least not unless they wish to place contrastive narrow focus on the nominal in question.

Why the restriction to particles, function words, and inflections? Well, it is hard for me to see how expressions that are for all intents and purposes regular content words could be used to indicate the ‘definiteness’ of another expression. But, the ultimate goal of the project is to test hypotheses about the conditions under which dedicated definiteness marking emerges vs. does not emerge in a language (family) or area. So if such borderline cases exist, I suppose they would in fact be of great interest to the project, even if they do not meet the criteria laid out above.

Best — Juergen

> On Jun 7, 2019, at 1:32 AM, David Gil <gil at shh.mpg.de> wrote:
> 
> Dear Juergen,
> 
> Ian Joo mentioned our Indonesian corpus; a better way of accessing a more complete version is described at https://linguistlist.org/issues/28/28-2007.html.
> 
> However, I am puzzled by your criteria, specifically by the notion of "grammaticalized definiteness (marking)", and a bit surprised nobody so far in this thread has picked up on it.
> 
> Both terms are problematic, as can be exemplified via Indonesian.  "Definiteness": well, Indonesian has a couple of nominal markers, =nya and itu, that are sometimes described as marking definiteness, though I believe that they are more appropriately analyzed otherwise, namely as marking possession/association and deixis respectively.  So does Indonesian fail to meet criterion 1, or does it in fact offer a nice example of "alternative strategies" for marking definiteness?  Depends on your analysis.
> 
> Then there's the notion of "grammaticalized":  what does it mean to say that  =nya and itu are grammaticalized?  The former marker, =nya, exhibits some properties that suggest that it might be a clitic, but otherwise, these markers would seem to exhibit grammatical behaviour similar to most other content words in the language.  So are they "grammaticalized"?  Well it depends on what you mean by "grammaticalized".
> 
> I use Indonesian here merely as an illustration; similar issues arise in very many other languages.
> 
> Best,
> 
> David
> 
> 
> On 06/06/2019 22:02, Bohnemeyer, Juergen wrote:
>> Dear colleagues — An advisee of mine is looking for glossed texts to investigate the use of strategies alternative to grammaticalized definiteness marking. Basically, she’s trying to identify about half a dozen genealogically and areally unrelated languages each of which meets all of the following criteria:
>> 
>> 1. The language lacks grammaticalized definiteness marking. 
>> 
>> 2. A text or corpus of texts is available for the language that has Leipzig-standard interlinear glosses and translations in English or Spanish.
>> 
>> 3. The text (corpus) comprises at least about 1000 clauses, but ideally twice that or more.
>> 
>> 4. The individual texts should be long-ish and their referring expressions shouldn’t be predominately proper names. 
>> 
>> If you’re aware of a language so resourced, please let me know!
>> 
>> Many thanks! — Juergen
>> 
>> 
>> Juergen Bohnemeyer, Professor and Director of Graduate Studies 
>> Department of Linguistics and Center for Cognitive Science University 
>> at Buffalo
>> 
>> Office: 642 Baldy Hall, UB North Campus * Mailing address: 609 Baldy 
>> Hall, Buffalo, NY 14260
>> Phone: (716) 645 0127
>> Fax: (716) 645 3825 * Email: 
>> jb77 at buffalo.edu * Web: http://www.acsu.buffalo.edu/~jb77/
>>  
>> 
>> Office hours M 12:30 – 1:30pm / W 1:00 – 1:50 / F 12:30 – 1:50pm
>> 
>> 
>> There’s A Crack In Everything - That’s How The Light Gets In (Leonard 
>> Cohen)
>> 
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> 
> --
> David Gil
> 
> Department of Linguistic and Cultural Evolution Max Planck Institute 
> for the Science of Human History Kahlaische Strasse 10, 07745 Jena, 
> Germany
> 
> Email: 
> gil at shh.mpg.de
> 
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> 
> 
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Juergen Bohnemeyer, Professor and Director of Graduate Studies Department of Linguistics and Center for Cognitive Science University at Buffalo 

Office: 642 Baldy Hall, UB North Campus * Mailing address: 609 Baldy Hall, Buffalo, NY 14260
Phone: (716) 645 0127
Fax: (716) 645 3825 * Email: jb77 at buffalo.edu * Web: http://www.acsu.buffalo.edu/~jb77/ 

Office hours M 12:30 – 1:30pm / W 1:00 – 1:50 / F 12:30 – 1:50pm


There’s A Crack In Everything - That’s How The Light Gets In (Leonard Cohen)

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