Article published in:Grammaticalization: Current views and issues
Edited by Katerina Stathi, Elke Gehweiler and Ekkehard König
[Studies in Language Companion Series 119] 2010
► pp. 73–100
Reconsidering erosion in grammaticalization
Evidence from cliticization
The loss of phonological substance (‘erosion’) has been identified as a recurring concomitant of grammaticalization and is often taken as a defining property of the process. This paper critically reexamines the role of erosion in a theory of grammaticalization by investigating the phonology of cliticization. The degree of phonological reduction that accompanies this sub-process of grammaticalization varies across different prosodic systems. Concentrating on stress systems, heavy erosion of grammaticalized elements is characteristic for languages with strong segmental effect of stress (e.g. German) and less so for languages with weak stress (e.g. Turkish). A revised theory of grammaticalization thus needs to acknowledge structural factors constraining the development of morphemes and should define evolutionary paths not in terms of universal scenarios but relative to different language types.
Published online: 16 September 2010
Cited by 5 other publications
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Müller, André & Rachel Weymuth
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