Grammaticalization and mechanisms of change

Elizabeth Closs Traugott

in The Oxford Handbook of Grammaticalization

Published in print October 2011 | ISBN: 9780199586783
Published online September 2012 | | DOI:

Series: Oxford Handbooks in Linguistics

 Grammaticalization and mechanisms of change

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  • Linguistics
  • Historical and Diachronic Linguistics


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This article examines the relationship between grammaticalisation and three mechanisms of change, including reanalysis, analogy, and repetition. It suggests that though reanalysis requires discreteness, it does not necessarily involve a saltation and argues that a distinction should be made between mechanisms and motivations; hence analogical thinking should be distinguished from analogical change. It also discusses the argument that analogy is reanalysis because local (micro-)restructuring results from optimisation.

Keywords: grammaticalisation; mechanisms of change; reanalysis; analogy; repetition; saltation; analogical thinking; analogical change; optimisation

Article.  4424 words. 

Subjects: Linguistics ; Historical and Diachronic Linguistics

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