[Lingtyp] grammaticalized v grammaticized

Daniel Ross djross3 at gmail.com
Wed Jun 12 13:24:10 EDT 2019


I've been following this discussion and wasn't sure how much I had to add,
but here are some thoughts:

1. "Grammaticization" is a bit of a tongue-twister even for native
speakers. I can say it, but it's less awkward to say "grammaticalization"
(yes, it's long, but with transparent, easily segmented parts).

2. Why has the discussion avoided the term "grammatical"? It has a specific
meaning in Generative Grammar, i.e. generated by the grammar and therefore
part of the language, yet this actually seems to be the same thing (if we
abstract a bit from theoretical specifics) as the proposed meaning for
"grammaticized" as in "conventionalized in the grammar", although true of a
meaning component rather than a particular sentence. Furthermore, the word
"grammatical" seems to be appropriate as a pre-theoretical term as in
"grammatical description", "grammatical system" or "grammatical
properties", setting aside the more technical notion in Generative Grammar.
(In fact, I would imagine that Generative linguists could find it
potentially useful to attach these notions together, whereas for
non-Generative linguists the term would be available to use in another way.)

3. Anything that is currently conventionalized in the grammar (i.e.,
"grammaticized") must have been grammaticalized in the past. Yes, we can
distinguish between diachronic and synchronic properties, but anything that
is "grammaticized" necessarily was "grammaticalized" previously, and
anything that was "grammaticalized" is now "grammaticized" (unless
subsequently lost). It seems that the proposals distinguishing these two
focus on "grammaticalization" as a diachronic process about forms, versus
"grammaticization" as a synchronic process of expressing meaning, yet the
other sides also apply synchronically/diachronically as well.

4. An earlier mention of "lexicalization" seems appropriate to me. We don't
need to distinguish between diachronic "lexicalization" and synchronic
"lexicization"(?). The distinction is in a diachronic process verb
"lexicalize" (or "grammaticalize") and a synchronic stative resultative
"lexicalized" (or "grammaticalized"). Personally I find it somewhat
confusing to established a new stative verb "grammaticize" as if giving the
grammar agentive properties, as opposed to just framing it as a state
resulting from earlier diachronic grammaticalization.
Another relevant comparison is to phonological/phonetic terms like
"palatal" versus "palatalized". A palatal consonant is produced at that
place of articulation, while a "palatalized" consonant is one with
secondary articulation. The analogy isn't exactly parallel to
"grammaticalized" and "grammatical", but it is worth noting how
"palaticized" does not seem necessary as a third category!

5. Another complication is theoretical: it seems that a synchronic-only
"grammaticize" entails some sort of "grammeme" (e.g., Alex's "emic
category"), which does not seem like a comparable concept from a
theory-neutral perspective. For example, in Construction Grammar, a
construction may be the result of grammaticalization, while in an approach
like Principles and Parameters the result is just a shift in parameters or
lexical items rather than any specific "grammeme" corresponding to the
grammaticalization per se. I think it is important that descriptive,
typological and historical terminology remain as theoretically neutral as
possible, except where intending a specific theoretical claim.
(And at what level of abstraction would be we counting "grammemes"? Alex
brings up an interesting point that grammaticalization may create a new
category or duplicate an existing one, but I'm not sure to what extent we
are prepared to identify when that result is really a duplication=synonymy
versus contrast in the system, and this seems likely to .)

6. I would strongly caution against trying to shift the meaning of
traditional, established terms. This is a common source of confusion in
reading grammars and other research. My impression is that
"grammaticalization" is the established term today, and refers mostly to a
diachronic perspective, but one that can also be applied via its result in
synchronic terms.
(However, if an author explicitly made reference to "grammaticize" as a
distinct term for synchronic use, then I don't think I would be confused
reading their article. I'm just not sure that's necessary, unless they were
making a theoretical point about the architecture of grammar, in a specific
theory, with "grammaticized" components-- but why not just "grammatical"
then? -ized words inherently refer to resulting states, which seems to tie
this term more to diachrony than its proponents would intend.)

7. In short, it seems that "grammaticized" is being proposed as a bridge
between "grammaticalized" and "grammatical", which may be unnecessary.
(There's an argument to be made for having "grammaticize" as a verb rather
than only "grammatical" as an adjective, but since this is not an action
but a state, I think "be a grammatical category" [etc.] could suffice. Not
to make things even more confusing, but if we do need such a verb, why not
something simpler like "grammize" (or "grammarize")? At least that would
have no traditional usage to clarify.)

My comments here are not directed at anyone in particular, and it has been
interesting reading all of your thoughts!

Daniel Ross
University of Illinois

On Wed, Jun 12, 2019 at 9:38 AM Alex Francois <francois at vjf.cnrs.fr> wrote:

> dear Prof. Lehmann, dear all,
>
> Christian Lehmann's message prompted some thoughts while I was in the tram.
>
> > *Nobody has yet proposed to distinguish between synchronic and
> diachronic assimilation*
> I'm not sure about that.  Some processes of assimilation are productive,
> subject to active rules in the synchrony of a language [*wug * > *wug-s*];
> in other cases, assimilation is really a diachronic process, which has no
> reality in modern languages [Lat. **ad-simulātio* >  **assimulātio*  >
> Eng. *assimilation*]
> I think it does make sense to distinguish between synchronic and
> diachronic assimilation.  The same could be argued about the other examples
> cited (diphthongation, univerbation, metaphora).
>
> About *grammatic(al)ization*:
> > *I would advise against providing different terms for the concepts
> ‚synchronic grammaticalization‘ and ‚diachronic grammaticalization‘.*
> I do think the distinction makes sense here, and for another important
> reason:  namely, the two phenomena discussed in this week's debate are
> actually quite distinct.
>
> Let me quote again Bill Palmer's very clear formulation:
>
> 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.
>
>
> I think that Bill's two categories differ not only by the trait
> *synchronic* vs. *diachronic*, but also by other properties;  in effect
> they are two separate concepts.
>
> Although I've never personally used the forms "grammaticization" or
> "grammatization", I will follow Bill's usage (at least for the sake of the
> current discussion), and distinguish between two terms:
>
>    1. "*grammaticization*" is a property of a system.
>    It refers to the fact that a given grammatical system (a language L)
>    treats a given meaning M as an emic category, using formal structures
>    (morphs, morphemes, constructions) that are contrastive.
>
>    2. "*grammaticalization*" is a property of a form.
>    It refers to a process of linguistic change, whereby a form F, usually
>    understood to be initially lexical, acquires a meaning M that is
>    grammatical.  That meaning M may exist already in the system, or it may be
>    created precisely as a result of this process of grammaticalization.
>
>
> [*a note on terminology*:
> I reckon that "grammaticalization" in the sense #2 is well established in
> our discipline, and should not be changed.  "Grammaticization" in the sense
> #1 is less entrenched, and it is not too late for us to find a better
> term.  Grammatify? grammatize? grammemicize (cf. phonemicize) ?  or just
> *emicize* ? hm.]
>
>
> Crucially, #1 and #2 are orthogonal phenomena;  they cannot simply be
> analyzed as two facets (one synchronic, one diachronic) of the same thing.
>
> Indeed, #1 grammaticization itself can be understood as compatible with a
> synchronic and a diachronic interpretations, distinct from #2
> grammaticalization.
>
>    - #1 grammaticization viewed synchronically: *language L treats
>    meaning M as emic*.
>    - Classical Latin grammaticized the TAM category of future:
>       *scrībet*  'he will write'  (opp. Indicative present *scrībit*,
>       Subjunctive *scrībat*).
>       - Homeric Greek grammaticized the Dual: τὼ χεῖρε "(both) hands".
>       - Hiw (Vanuatu) grammaticizes the subjunctive — i.e. it "has" a
>       subjunctive category, contrary to its neighbours.
>
>    - #1 grammaticization viewed diachronically: *language L acquires an
>    emic category M which it didn't have before*.
>    This takes place via language change [but not necessarily via #2
>    grammaticalization]
>
>    - e.g. 17th century French has been claimed (Lancelot & Arnauld 1660,
>       cited in Comrie 1985:93) to have acquired a semantic contrast
>       between *hodiernal past* /j'ai écrit/ 'I wrote [earlier today]' vs. *prehodiernal
>       past* /j'écrivis/ 'I wrote [earlier than today]'. This could be
>       formulated by saying that French, historically, began
>       *grammaticizing *a category of hodiernal past (as in, say, Yeyi, a
>       Bantu lg of Namibia – Seidel 2008), which it didn't use to
>       grammaticize before — and which it later lost.
>
>       - Other example:
>       While PIE used to grammaticize the two cases Instrumental and
>       Ablative separately, Classical Latin merged them;  as a result, for a while
>       it grammaticized an emic category of *instrumental–ablative* [= the
>       classical Ablativus: *gladiō* 'with a sword' ~ *domō* 'from the
>       house'].
>
>       Later on, that emic category ceased to be grammaticized, as Late
>       Latin (Romance) developed a contrast between a proper ablative on the one
>       hand [**de suo domo* 'from his house'] vs. a new category of
>       instrumental–comitative [**cum suo gladio* 'with his sword' / **cum
>       suo patre *'with his father'].
>
> These processes of semantic change would not be accurately described as
> cases of #2 "grammaticalization", if the latter is understood as the change
> of a form from lexical to grammatical.  The emergence and/or loss of
> grammaticized (emic) categories took place here through the semantic
> restructuring of existing grammatical categories, with no lexical input.
>
> As for #2 *grammaticalization*, it could also be argued to be compatible
> with a synchronic and a diachronic interpretation:
>
>    - synchronic:  *a form F is used, synchronically, both as a lexical
>    item and as a grammatical device*.
>    e.g. in Mwotlap (Vanuatu), the form *tēy* is a lexical verb meaning
>    'hold, have in hand', and it has also grammaticalized as an applicative.
>    Both meanings are active in synchrony.  In the same language, *van* is
>    both a verb 'go' and an allotropic directional ("thither").
>
>    French also has a form *devoir*, which is both a lexical verb (*je lui
>    dois 30 euros* "I *owe* her 30 €") and a grammatical device coding for
>    deontic or epistemic modality (*il doit être 3h* "it must be 3
>    o'clock").
>
>    Synchronic grammaticalization is a type of polysemy, and more exactly,
>    of heterosemy (cf. Lichtenberk 1991; Enfield 2006).
>
>    - diachronic:  *a form F, at some point, loses its lexical meaning,
>    and survives as a grammatical morpheme*.
>    e.g. Lat. *habēre* 'hold, have' grammaticalized as an auxiliary for
>    perfect tense [*habeo scriptum* 'I have written'], while still keeping
>    for a while its lexical meaning — resulting in heterosemy (within Latin).
>    Modern Spanish then lost the lexical meaning of *haber*, and keeps
>    this form only as a grammatical device.
>
>
> Finally, on the relations between #1 and #2:  these are orthogonal
> concepts.
>
> I'll try to put my thoughts in order with a table:
> [image: image.png]
> Notes about this table:
> #2 grammaticalization comes with diachronic #1 grammaticization, *iff* the
> change from Lexical to Grammatical results in the emergence of a
> grammatical category that did not exist previously in the system.
>
> e.g. Classical Latin used to not grammaticize the conditional (=it didn't
> have it as an emic category).
> At some point, Late Latin went through (#2) grammaticalization **scrībere
> habēbat* 'he had to write' >> Ital. *scriver-ebbe* 'he would write'.
> This instance of #2 grammaticalization was also, in this particular case,
> an instance of diachronic grammaticization (the creation of a new
> grammatical category).
>
>
> Conversely, the (#2) grammaticalization **scrībere habet* 'he has to
> write' >> Ital. *scriver-à* 'he will write' did not entail a change in #1
> grammaticization, since the earlier system already had a category of
> future.  This was just a case of morphological renovation (via lexical
> input and grammaticalization) of an existing category.  A diachronic
> process of grammaticalization, with no change in grammaticization.
>
> best
> Alex
> ------------------------------
>
> Alex François
>
> LaTTiCe <http://www.lattice.cnrs.fr/en/alexandre-francois/> — CNRS–
> <http://www.cnrs.fr/index.html>ENS
> <https://www.ens.fr/laboratoire/lattice-langues-textes-traitements-informatiques-et-cognition-umr-8094>
> –Sorbonne nouvelle
> <http://www.univ-paris3.fr/lattice-langues-textes-traitements-informatiques-cognition-umr-8094-3458.kjsp>
> Australian National University
> <https://researchers.anu.edu.au/researchers/francois-a>
> Academia page <https://cnrs.academia.edu/AlexFran%C3%A7ois> – Personal
> homepage <http://alex.francois.online.fr/>
>
> ------------------------------
>
> On Tue, 11 Jun 2019 at 11:09, Christian Lehmann <
> christian.lehmann at uni-erfurt.de> wrote:
>
>> The discussion has brought up several distinct meanings that can be
>> associated with such terms as *grammat(ic(al))ization*. Several of the
>> concepts involved are doubtless useful in linguistics and would suit such a
>> term. I would advise against providing different terms for the concepts
>> ‚synchronic grammaticalization‘ and ‚diachronic grammaticalization‘. I
>> distinguish between the formation of a concept and providing a term for it.
>> There is apparently no methodological principle that would allow or exclude
>> the formation of concepts of just anything. Certainly it may be useful to
>> distinguish between ‚grammaticalization viewed as manifested in synchrony‘
>> and ‚grammaticalization viewed as manifested in diachrony‘. However, one
>> has to keep in mind that synchrony and diachrony are not two different
>> spheres of the object of linguistics, but two alternate perspectives on one
>> object. Thus, there are no such things as ‚synchronic grammaticalization‘
>> as a process distinct from ‚diachronic grammaticalization‘. The same is
>> true of countless other linguistic processes. Nobody has yet proposed to
>> distinguish between synchronic and diachronic assimilation, synchronic and
>> diachronic diphthongation, synchronic and diachronic univerbation,
>> synchronic and diachronic metaphora and so on ad nauseam. Descriptive and
>> historical grammarians have simply assumed that there is, in each of these
>> cases, only one such process which manifests itself in the perspective
>> taken by them; and rightly so.
>>
>> So again, one may, of course, view grammaticalization either in a
>> synchronic or in a diachronic perspective. It is, however, methodologically
>> dangerous to provide different terms for such constructs, because a
>> construct provided with a (handy) term has a strong tendency to be
>> hypostatized to an entity existing independently of our approach. Witness
>> the countless definitions found in the literature according to which
>> grammaticalization is allegedly a diachronic (or even worse, a historical)
>> process. Sorry for sounding dogmatic about this; but our theory is going to
>> make progress only if we get the methodology right.
>>
>> Positive balance: Let’s reserve the variants of *grammat(ic(al))ization* for
>> some of the other concepts brought up in the discussion.
>>
>> --
>>
>> Prof. em. Dr. Christian Lehmann
>> Rudolfstr. 4
>> 99092 Erfurt
>> Deutschland
>> Tel.: +49/361/2113417
>> E-Post: christianw_lehmann at arcor.de
>> Web: https://www.christianlehmann.eu
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