Lexicalization, a process of language change, has been conceptualized in a variety of ways. Broadly defined as the adoption of concepts into the lexicon, it has been viewed by syntacticians as the reverse process of grammaticalization, by morphologists as a routine process of word-formation, and by semanticists as the development of concrete meanings. In this up-to-date survey, Laurel Brinton and Elizabeth Traugott examine the various conceptualizations of lexicalization that have been presented in the literature. In light of contemporary work on grammaticalization, they then propose a new, unified model of lexicalization and grammaticalization. Their approach is illustrated with a variety of case studies from the history of English, including present participles, multi-word verbs, adverbs, and discourse markers, as well as some examples from other Indo-European languages. The first review of the various approaches to lexicalization, this book will be invaluable to students and scholars of historical linguistics and language change.
Laurel J. Brinton is Professor in the Department of English, University of British Columbia. Elizabeth Closs Traugott is Emerita Professor of Linguistics and English at Stanford University.
1. Contexts for the study of lexicalization and grammaticalization; 2. Lexicalization: definitions and viewpoints; 3. The relation of lexicalization to grammaticalization; 4. Towards an integrated approach to lexicalization and grammaticalization; 5. Case studies; 6. Conclusion and research questions.
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