Special Issue "Formal Approaches to Grammaticalization": Introduction

Martí­n Fuchs, Joshua Phillips


Across languages and language families, it has been observed that some changes in the conventions of interpretation of specific functional meanings and their corresponding linguistic markers are not random, but follow clear and consistent patterns. In light of these systematicities, unidirectional grammaticalization "pathways" or "trajectories" have been proposed to capture these diachronic phenomena. Less well-understood, however, is how and why these particular changes occur, why they should be unidirectional or cyclic, and what (communicative) mechanisms and (semantic) representations support them. This special issue of PLSA assembles work from a number of scholars working across different empirical domains – and with different theoretical backgrounds and commitments – to take stock of both advances in this research program over the past decade, as well as the development of new ways of understanding semantic change phenomena.


diachronic linguistics; semantics; functional meanings; grammaticalization

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DOI: https://doi.org/10.3765/plsa.v5i2.4789

Copyright (c) 2020 Martí­n Fuchs, Joshua Phillips

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