Most people modify their ways of speaking, writing, texting, and e-mailing, and so on, according to the people with whom they are communicating. This fascinating book asks why we 'accommodate' to others in this way, and explores the various social consequences arising from it.
AUTHOR: Hopper, Paul J.; & Traugott, Elizabeth Closs TITLE: Grammaticalization, Second Edition SERIES: Cambridge Textbooks in Linguistics PUBLISHER: Cambridge University Press YEAR: 2003
Ioana-Ruxandra Dascalu, University of Craiova, Romania
OVERVIEW This is a monograph about grammaticalization, which analyzes the process from both a historical and synchronic perspective (involving pragmatics and syntax), emphasizing the major mechanisms of linguistic variation and change . The authors are Paul J. Hopper, Paul Mellon Distinguished Professor of Humanities at Carnegie Mellon University and Elizabeth Closs Traugott, Professor of Linguistics and English at Stanford University. The first edition of the book was published in 1993.
The authors propose a revised and updated second edition of a successful book Grammaticalization, which deals with a process of historical as well as synchronic linguistics "whereby lexical items and constructions come in certain linguistic contents to serve grammatical functions, and, once grammaticalized, continue to develop new grammatical functions" (p. xv); they encounter cases of lexical words, that become auxiliaries, of nominal adpositions that become case markers, when, as an evolution of the grammatical forms, the lexical character of a lexeme turns into a grammatical one.
The first part of the book (Chapter I Some preliminaries, pp. 1-17 and Chapter II The History of Grammaticalization, pp. 19-38) appeals to definitions and terms with an important role in grammaticalization: a crucial distinction is made between content words, that is to say words with lexical properties and function words, that accomplish grammatical functions; the transformation of a lexical word into a grammatical one represents the process of grammaticalization itself.
According to the role of the grammatical forms, they classify words into several categories: words with phonetic and syntactic independence, derivational forms, clitics, items which are constrained to occur next to an autonomous word, in a cline, that is to say a pathway from content items to grammatical words, to clitics and inflectional affixes, in an evolution from less grammatical to more grammatical elements.
After a stage-setting introduction, the authors sketch a historical profile of the studies concerning grammaticalizations, from Humboldt's linguistic typologies (isolating, agglutinative, inflectional or synthetic languages) to the first denomination of the process in Meillet's L'évolution des formes grammaticales (1912) and the most recent researches from the 60s to the 90s, in Hock's Principles of Historical Linguistics, Givon's On Understanding Grammar, Lehmann's Thoughts on Grammaticalization and Traugott and Heine's Approaches to Grammaticalization. Lehmann establishes a series of parameters of grammaticalization, both on the paradigmatic (weight, cohesiveness, freedom of selection) and on the syntagmatic axis (scope/structural size of a construction, degree of bounding, degree to which elements may be moved) (p. 30).
The next chapters (Chapter III, Mechanisms: reanalysis and analogy, pp. 39-70; and Chapter IV, Pragmatic factors, pp. 71-98) discuss the causes and mechanisms of linguistic change, namely reanalysis, as a process in which old structures are replaced by new ones (e.g. when the hearer understands a form to have a structure and a meaning that are different from those of the speaker, p. 50) and analogy, which refers to the attraction of extant forms to already existing constructions (p. 63). Pragmatic factors are discussed together with facts of language acquisition, as well as metaphoric cognitive processes, such as the description of space in terms of an object or of time in terms of space.
Another controversial issue related to grammaticalization is the hypothesis of unidirectionality (Chapter V, pp. 99-139) which depicts it as an one-way phenomenon, containing two sides: specialization in use, divergence (when one form preserves its characteristics, while the other becomes more grammatical) and renewal, when old forms are renewed by new ones. The conceptual frame that describes all these processes is called layering or variability. There are however linguists, who claim that grammaticalization is not a irreversible process; they encounter opposite phenomena like degrammaticalization, lexicalization and decliticization. (see Ch. Lehmann 2.3.).
Chapter VI, Clause-internal morphological changes, pp. 140-174; and Chapter VII, Grammaticalization across clauses, pp. 173-211, account for the properties of clitics, as well as for the ways of linking clauses.
Cliticization is a particular case of grammaticalization, whereby independent elements become bound elements like clitics and affixes, that attach to accentuated lexical items (e.g. lat. 'que' gr. 'de' or the development of clause linkers out of nouns, verbs, adverbs, pronouns). The evolution from clitics to inflections (lexical item > clitic > affix) is called morphologization, events which transform an autonomous unbound lexical item into an affix (e.g. the grammaticalization of the Latin form -mente into an adverbial suffix in the Romance languages). According to their position, clitics are divided into three categories: phrasal clitics (such as possessive pronouns, auxiliaries), proclitics (which are attached to the following element) and enclitics (which are attached at the end of the stressed lexical item). The development of clitics is followed by the evolution of clause linkers (in parataxis, hypotaxis and subordination), with emphasis upon clause linkage markers and their sources in nouns, verbs, adverbs, pronouns (pp. 184 ff.)
The final part of the book (Chapter VIII, Grammaticalization in situations of extreme language contact, pp. 212-230, focuses upon the study of grammaticalization in language contact, with emphasis on the characteristics of pidgins as mixed languages, derived from the superstrate language and on the features of creoles as more complex languages from the syntactic point of view; they offer interesting results for the conceptualization of linguistic progression, due to internal factors (such as child acquisition) and external factors (such as language contact). A series of features are enumerated, concerning tense marking, articles and determiners, Tense-Mood-Aspect system.
CONCLUSION This is an introductory reading indispensable for all those who study historical linguistics. The handbook gathers the main key-notions concerning grammaticalization, analyzed with generative methods, as well as with sociolinguistic, semantic and pragmatic criteria. The second edition published in 2003 is updated and renewed with information about the unidirectionality and the role of grammaticalization in creolization.
REFERENCES Heine, B., U. Claudi, F. Hunnemeyer. 1991. Grammaticalization: a Conceptual Framework. Chicago: University of Chicago Press
Lehmann, Ch. 1995. Thoughts on Grammaticalization. Munich: Lincom Europa
Meillet, A. 1958. Linguistique historique et linguistique générale. Paris. Champion
Wischer, I., G. Diewald, eds. 2002. New Reflections on Grammaticalization. Proceedings from the International Symposium on Grammaticalization, Potsdam, Germany. Amsterdam: Benjamins.
ABOUT THE REVIEWER:
ABOUT THE REVIEWER Ioana-Ruxandra Dascalu studied Classical Philology and Literary Theory at the University of Bucharest, Romania. Her main research interests go to Latin linguistics (including theories of Functional Grammar), historical linguistics (especially the evolution from Latin to Romance languages), general linguistics, French linguistics (modalities, semantics and pragmatics), and intertextuality in ancient and modern canon.