Grammaticalization and word formation

Ilse Wischer

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 word formation

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


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This article examines the relation between grammaticalisation and word formation, focusing on derivations and phrasal compounds. It suggests that grammaticalization and word formation must be considered distinct processes because grammaticalisation is a process by which linguistic elements change into constituents of grammar while word formation allows for the production of new lexical items. The analysis reveals that the formation of phrasal compounds can be accompanied by a grammaticalisation process which may affect the whole construction or only part of it and that some syntactic constructions can be lexicalized.

Keywords: grammaticalisation; word formation; derivations; phrasal compounds; linguistic elements; lexical items; syntactic constructions

Article.  3534 words. 

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

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