Article published in:Diachronic Construction Grammar
Edited by Jóhanna Barðdal, Elena Smirnova, Lotte Sommerer and Spike Gildea
[Constructional Approaches to Language 18] 2015
► pp. 51–80
Toward a coherent account of grammatical constructionalization
Diachronic construction grammar addresses a range of theoretical topics from lexicalization to grammaticalization. In most cases, a historical dimension has been added to a largely synchronic theory, or construction grammar has been seen as a tool for diachronic analysis. In the spirit of rethinking grammaticalization in construction grammar terms, the present chapter focuses on how a constructionalization approach can inform certain debates in the grammaticalization literature. The specific debates addressed are: (1) Is it possible to reconcile the two current main views of grammaticalization as (a) reduced form and increased dependency (Lehmann 1995; Haspelmath 2004), or (b) expansion of contexts (Himmelmann 2004)? (2) Is there “pure” grammaticalization without analogy (Haspelmath 2004; Lehmann 2004)? (3) What relative weight should be given to reanalysis and analogy (Fischer 2007)? The answer to the first question is that from a constructional perspective the two approaches to grammaticalization can indeed be reconciled. With respect to the second and third questions, there can be no “pure” grammaticalization without analogy understood as a motivation (analogical thinking). Since reanalysis can occur independently of analogy and accompanies analogy understood as a mechanism (analogization), it encompasses more changes and is therefore primary. This approach is illustrated with a new look at the development of BE going to in English.
Published online: 30 July 2015
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