Unidirectionality in Grammaticalization and Lexical Shift: The Case of English RATHER

Matthew L. Juge


Traditional models of grammaticalization posit a process (or a set of processes) whereby words belonging to one lexical class shift to another lexical class considered to be more grammatical. In this paper I argue that the seemingly unrelated shift of English rather from comparative adverb to verb shows that such a model for grammaticalization is untenable.

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DOI: https://doi.org/10.3765/bls.v28i1.3830