Grammaticalization in Slavic languages

Björn Wiemer

in The Oxford Handbook of Grammaticalization

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

Series: Oxford Handbooks in Linguistics

 Grammaticalization in Slavic languages

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  • Linguistics
  • Historical and Diachronic Linguistics
  • Language Families


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This article examines the grammaticalisation developments in Slavic languages. The functions of the past tenses lost in northern Slavic are only partially covered by the younger opposition of perfective and imperfective aspect. The only new classes of morphemes that arose in some sub-areas of Slavic are the definite and the indefinite article, both with preliminary, not-yet-grammaticalised stages in some more Slavic varieties. In sum, in Slavic grammaticalization, phenomena have occurred predominantly in the realm of verbal categories; only very few phenomena are related to the noun phrase.

Keywords: Slavic languages; grammaticalisation; past tenses; morphemes; article; verbal categories; noun phrase

Article.  4508 words. 

Subjects: Linguistics ; Historical and Diachronic Linguistics ; Language Families

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