Grammaticalization and functional linguistics

Peter Harder and Kasper Boye

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 functional linguistics

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  • Linguistics
  • Historical and Diachronic Linguistics
  • Grammar, Syntax and Morphology


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This article evaluates the relation between grammaticalisation and functional linguistics. It outlines a theory that is usage-based and functional, which assumes that structure arises out of regularities in usage, selected and systematized through invisible-hand type feedback mechanisms. It argues that the so-called non-naïve functionalists need to provide an account of what they take to be the structural characteristics that functional elements have to take on in order to fall within the purview of grammaticalisation.

Keywords: grammaticalisation; functional linguistics; theory; usage-based; functional; structure; feedback mechanisms; non-naïve functionalists; functional elements

Article.  4855 words. 

Subjects: Linguistics ; Historical and Diachronic Linguistics ; Grammar, Syntax and Morphology

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