Grammaticalization and semantic change

Regine Eckardt

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 semantic change

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  • Linguistics
  • Historical and Diachronic Linguistics
  • Semantics


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This article explores the relation between semantic change and grammaticalisation. It discusses the micro-steps of semantic change based on truth-conditional semantics and its extensions into pragmatics and relates the macro-trends in grammaticalization that have been proposed in the literature. It argues that modal, emotive, and discourse particles also emerge by semantic reanalysis and hence show grammaticalization in a semantic sense, even though they are more extragrammatical in a morphosyntactic sense.

Keywords: semantic change; grammaticalisation; truth-conditional semantics; pragmatics; discourse particles; extragrammatical; morphosynstactic sense

Article.  4587 words. 

Subjects: Linguistics ; Historical and Diachronic Linguistics ; Semantics

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